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Cape Cod National Seashore Announces Changes in Shorebird Management and Off-Road Vehicle Access for 2012 Season

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Date: April 12, 2012
Contact: Shelley Hall, Chief, Natural Resources Management, 508-957-0737

Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price announced that there will be changes to the use of the Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Corridor as a result of a recent evaluation of suitable habitat for piping plovers. The immediate effect will be the closure of vehicle access to Hatches Harbor during the piping plover courtship and nesting period.Recent on-site consultations with officials of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in changes to the management of habitat in the Hatches Harbor area. Additional areas of the sandy spit of Hatches Harbor will be symbolically fenced in April, limiting vehicle access. Fencing and ORV access will be re-assessed as the season progresses, although changes are unlikely before the end of June. Piping plovers are listed as threatened under the Federal and Massachusetts Endangered Species Acts. This decision is consistent with both the 1996 Atlantic Coast Piping Plover Recovery Plan guidelines and the 1998 Negotiated Rule for Off-Road Vehicle Use within Cape Cod National Seashore. 

The ORV corridor opens to the public on April 15 and it is anticipated that Race Point North and South beach access points will open, depending on nesting activity. The most up-to-date information on status of the ORV corridor can be obtained by calling the OFF-ROAD INFORMATION LINE at 508-487-2100 x 0926 or by checking www.nps.gov/caco.

About the National Park Service.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

 

Did You Know?

vernal pond

The hydrologic system of lower Cape Cod consists of four distinct ground-water lenses, or flow cells, which receive recharge through precipitation. Other hydrologic features besides groundwater include kettle ponds, freshwater wetlands (vernal ponds), freshwater streams, and estuarine wetlands.