Officials in some North Carolina coastal communities oppose an effort to designate their beaches as "critical habitats" for loggerhead turtles.
They say they already do enough to protect the turtles, and are concerned the designation will limit tourists' and residents' future access to the beaches.
Federal officials who have proposed the designation say it won't bring about many changes because the turtle itself is already protected.
Still, Carteret County has filed a notice of intent to sue if the proposals are made final. And other governments have filed resolutions against the designation.
The federal agencies are scheduled to decide on a final rule in July 2014.