Southeast
Peter Vankevich/Ocracoke Observer photo

NC - County requests feds withdraw rufa red knot 'critical habitat' proposal

EMERALD ISLE — The deadline for commenting on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to designate hundreds of thousands of acres, including 150 miles of North Carolina beaches, as “critical habitat” for the rufa red knot passed Monday.

EMERALD ISLE — The deadline for commenting on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to designate hundreds of thousands of acres, including 150 miles of North Carolina beaches, as “critical habitat” for the rufa red knot passed Monday.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation requested the comment period be extended, and Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said in an email Monday he was “very surprised” the USFWS ignored that request.

As a result, the county on Monday filed its official comments with the federal agency.

The bird, a sandpiper with a wingspan of about 20 inches and a ruddy head, visits North Carolina in the spring during their annual 10,000-mile migration from the southern tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic.

July 15, the USFWS proposed establishing critical habitat for the bird in many states, including all oceanfront Bogue, Core and Shackleford banks beaches in Carteret County. Other North Carolina areas proposed as critical habitat for the rufa red knot are beaches of Hatteras Island in Dare County, Ocracoke Island in Hyde County, Topsail Beach in Pender County, Fort Fisher in New Hanover County and Sunset Beach/Bird Island in Brunswick County.

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