Orleans Town Officials Close ORV Trail to Protect Piping Plovers

450910609ORLEANS – Town officials in Orleans have closed the off-road vehicle trail south of the Nauset Beach parking lot to protect nesting piping plovers.

The town says they cannot predict how long the closure will be but will activate their new habitat conservation plan on July 15.

The new plan allows limited, escorted travel through the Pochet overwash, as long as there are two or fewer broods of piping plover chicks in the area.

Orleans Selectman John Hodgson says he has concerns.

“I’m pleased that we’re able to get the plan in place. I’m extremely frustrated with how difficult it is for beach communities on Cape Cod to gain access to their beaches and I don’t care whether it’s a car, walking a dog, walking your kids, putting a boat on the beach. It’s becoming very, very difficult,” said Hodgson.

The length of the closures can’t be predicted as it depends on weather, storms and predators affecting whether eggs hatch or piping plovers chicks survive after they hatch.

Hodgson says there’s a reason they chose July 15 to start their new plan.

“We’ve done studies. The reason why that date is the 15th is that we’ve never actually seen more than two broods of birds out there after the 15th,” said Hodgson.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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