NC beach driving ban divides critters, residents

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BUXTON, N.C. (AP) — Sweeping restrictions on beach driving along 65 shoreline miles along North Carolina's Outer Banks is saving federally protected birds and turtles, but putting local businesses on edge.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/NuEo8f) the rules that took effect in February ban off-road vehicles from miles of Outer Banks beaches where they were allowed in the past. About 14,000 people have paid more than $1 million in fees for permits that allow driving on areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore where it's still allowed.

Beach drivers argue that most of the seashore's beaches are hard to reach on foot and are fighting the restrictions with lawsuits and legislation. Business owners who cater to surf fishing enthusiasts say they're losing money.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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