Habitat expanded for threatened shorebird
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has expanded the areas of West Coast beaches considered critical to the survival of the western snowy plover, a threatened shorebird.
The critical habitat rule to be published Tuesday restores areas cut by the Bush administration and adds a little more as a precaution against rising sea levels forecast with global warming.
The expanded area totals 24,500 acres in California, Oregon and Washington.
Biologist Jim Watkins says the public will hardly notice the difference, because the restrictions that have the greatest impact on people -- temporarily fencing off nesting areas -- are not affected by this provision of the Endangered Species Act.
The Obama administration agreed to develop a new critical habitat designation after being sued by the Center for Biological Diversity.
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