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Recent Rains Cause Closure of Roads at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge


October 11, 2005

Howard Phillips, 252/796-3004 x226

Refuge Manager Howard Phillips announced today that because of the recent heavy rainfall, most of the roads on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge are now closed to vehicles. “Many of the roads on Pocosin Lakes are unimproved dirt roads. The dirt is organic soil and gets very sloppy when it’s wet” Phillips said. “We’re finding vehicles stuck, getting reports of other stuck vehicles, and the roads are getting torn up by the traffic.”

The only roads now open to public vehicular traffic are the roads on the Pungo Unit, Evans Road from Shore Drive to Harvester Road, and the improved section of Harvester (from Evans about four miles east). In addition, the Trux Road, Northern, and New Lake ATV Trails are still open for use in accordance with refuge regulations. Roads that were open to the public and are now closed include Northern, Nodwell, Middle, Seagoing, Western, the unimproved (eastern most) section of Harvester, Dehoog, Clayton, and Boerma.

“Although the rain has ended an extended drought and growing concern about potential wild fires, the impact on the roads right at the start of the hunting season has not been so beneficial” Phillips said. The roads will remain closed until conditions improve and maintenance can be completed. “We’ll do our best to get the roads reopened as soon as we can” Phillips said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses almost 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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