Federal judge approves agreement to preserve wildlife and recreation opportunities on Hatteras

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(04/30/2008) -  U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle today approved a consent decree offered by the three parties involved in a lawsuit to regulate beach driving along Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The approval resolves the lawsuit which challenged an interim National Park Service plan to protect wildlife from the impacts of beach driving along the Seashore.  The Southern Environmental Law Center represented Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society in the case.

The following are statements from attorneys representing the environmental interests in the case:

Derb Carter, Southern Environmental Law Center: “From the start, our priority has been to ensure that visitors and beach lovers will be able to enjoy all that Cape Hatteras National Seashore has to offer for years to come. The agreement finalized by Judge Boyle today helps do just that by striking a balance between the natural resources and public enjoyment of this unique region.”

Jason Rylander, staff attorney, Defenders of Wildlife: “Today's decision is evidence that we can protect our native wildlife without sacrificing traditions like beach driving, fishing and surfing that are so important on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.”

Chris Canfield, executive director,  Audubon North Carolina: “We believe this agreement is a significant improvement over the current management plan. It should adequately protect natural resources at Cape Hatteras until a final more comprehensive plan can be agreed upon. This approach necessarily depends on Park Service diligence and quick action to safeguard birds, turtles, and visitors.”

Learn more about the lawsuit.

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Contact(s):

Derb Carter, SELC Attorney, (919) 464-7030
Jason Rylander, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-3245
Chris Canfield, Audubon North Carolina, (919) 906-5459

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