Feds, State to Announce Decision on Piping Plover Plan

450910609ORLEANS – Federal and state wildlife officials are set to announce their decision on a proposed statewide conservation plan allowing for increased beach access while endangered piping plovers are nesting.

The announcement will come Friday morning at 10 a.m. The plan was announced in January and was released for public comment.

Under the statewide habitat conservation plan, the state would get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and develop what it is calling certificates of inclusion for individual sites and beaches.

If implemented, the plan would give beach managers more flexibility when it comes to the use of roads, parking lots and off-road vehicles in the area of chicks, along with other recreational activities and beach management around piping plover nests.

The proposal has been in the works since 2014.

The Town of Orleans recently implemented a first-of-its-kind beach access plan, allowing ORVs to be escorted past the endangered birds.

The state’s piping plover population, which was around 140 pairs in 1986 when the species was listed as an endangered species, has increased to about 698 pairs in 2015.

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