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Contact: Dr. Michael Rikard, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3012
Harkers Island, North Carolina. The National Park Service (NPS) is asking for public comments on the Cape Lookout National Seashore (CLNS) Experimental Reduction of Raccoon Population to Evaluate Removal as an Option for Protected Species Management - draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The draft EA is being released on August 18, 2008, and will be open for public comment until September 19, 2008.
The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to conduct research on raccoon (Procyon lotor) populations within Cape Lookout National Seashore and conduct a one-time removal of raccoons from South Core Banks to: 1) determine if the incidence of predation on protected species (shorebird chicks and sea turtle hatchlings) declines post-removal and for one successive breeding season, 2) determine the extent and timing of future predation events from areas where raccoons were removed, and 3) assess the impact of removal on the ecology of raccoons remaining in the population. The purpose of this EA is to analyze potential impacts to the human environment resulting from two alternative approaches to raccoon management.
Public participation is vital to the NPS planning process. The NPS looks forward to receiving input from everyone, particularly on identified issues, concerns, and any ideas that will meet the need, purpose, and objectives of this planning process. The comments and concerns will be gathered and used in the development of the final EA and development of the plan. In order to provide for broad public comment, the NPS will be accepting comments via internet or through the mail. Comments must be received by September 19, 2008. Instructions for submission of your comments are listed below:
Via the Internet- If you have access to the internet, you may submit your comments on-line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CALO. Select the “Experimental Reduction of Raccoon Population to Evaluate Removal as an Option for Protected Species Management” project, then click on the “Documents and Links” section and finally click the “Submit Your Comments for the Interim Protected Species Management Plan EA (download the plan)” link found in the “Documents and Links” section.
Via the Mail- Alternatively, you may send your written comments to: Superintendent, Cape LookoutNational Seashore, 131 Charles Street, Harkers Island, North Carolina28531. Please include your full name, mailing address, and e-mail address, if available, with your comments so that we may add you to our mailing list.