Nine staff positions at five North Carolina wildlife refuges will be eliminated in the next three years. The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the cuts in anticipation of budget restraints.
The federal agency says the cuts are part of a ten percent reduction in its refuge work force in the Southeast. The agency employs 748 workers at 128 national refuges in the region. Ninety positions will be cut.
In the Southeast, agency officials say the cuts will result in less management capability for migratory birds and endangered and threatened species. Over time, public access to the wildlife refuges could become more restricted.
In North Carolina, positions will be eliminated at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, and Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge.