Fight Over Outlying Landing Field Moves to Washington, D.C.

Opponents of a military landing field in Eastern Carolina took their fight to the Nation's Capitol Wednesday. A coalition of conservation groups visited members of Congress, asking them to urge the Navy to consider other sites. The Navy wants to build the landing field less than five miles from a National Wildlife Refuge, in which hundreds of thousands of birds migrate to throughout the year. The coalition contends large birds could pose a danger for pilots as well as the animals. And Wednesday, a federal judge in Raleigh agreed.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle says the Navy was wrong when it claimed its jets would have no significant impact on wildlife or the environment when they fly over natural areas of eastern North Carolina. Judge Boyle agreed with environmentalists who said the Navy failed to take a hard look at the impact in and around two portions of airspace. The ruling means the Navy has to take another look at what effect its flights might have on pristine reaches of national seashore and wildlife refuges.