New federal law could open more of Cape Hatteras National Seashore to beach driving


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HATTERAS, North Carolina — A new federal law could open more of the beach to driving along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, although the extent of any change remains unclear.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reported ( a law enacted in December calls for the U.S. Interior Department modify buffers around shore bird and turtle nests by about mid-June.

John Couch of the Outer Banks Preservation Association says an upcoming meeting with park Superintendent Dave Hallac could clarify the law's effect on Hatteras.

A federal court ordered more driving restrictions in 2008 following a lawsuit from environmental groups. The Park Service followed with a management plan in 2012 that closed large sections of beach during the summer and fall when birds and turtles are nesting.

Beach driving groups then sued.

Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,

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