Please note that these restrictions have changed from previous years to include prohibition of dogs and kites during the nesting season, March 15 – September 15.
According to Siuslaw National Forest Biologist Cindy Burns, beginning mid-spring, signs and ropes are used on beaches to inform the public of sensitive western snowy plover nesting areas, and to direct the public to non-sensitive areas where recreational activities are permitted.
In beach areas marked as nesting areas, beachgoers will still have access to the wet sand portion of the beach to enjoy passive recreational activities such as walking and horseback riding.
All recreational activities within the dry sand areas, however, are prohibited.
On plover nesting beaches the following recreational activities are also prohibited on both wet and dry sand: operating a motorized or non- motorized vehicle or flying apparatus (e.g., flying a kite) and having a dog, leashed or unleashed.
These access restrictions protect the nests, eggs and chicks of breeding plovers, which are highly sensitive to repeated disturbance. Access restrictions are in effect through September 15.
Dry and wet sand restrictions will be in effect at Sutton/Baker Beach, on the beach from Siltcoos Estuary to Tahkenitch Estuary and from just south of the Douglas/Coos County line south to Tenmile Estuary (northern Coos County), the North Spit of Coos Bay, Bandon Beach State Natural Area, and New River area beaches. These access restrictions affect approximately 48 miles along the 230 miles of sandy shore in Oregon. For more detailed information on specific locations of these areas, please consult the following webpage: http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/NATRES/docs/plover/DogFriendlyBeaches_web2013.pdf
“In 2012, monitors found 231 nesting plovers along the Oregon Coast – a significant increase from a population low of 28 nesting plovers as recently as 1992,” said Laura Todd of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Public compliance with the beach access restrictions has greatly helped us get closer to recovering the western snowy plover.”
The Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened in 1993. It is also listed as threatened under state law. The primary threats to snowy plover survival are habitat degradation, repeated disturbance, urban development, introduced European beach grass and predators such as crows, ravens, foxes and skunks.
More information on plover habitat and beach restrictions can be obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 541-867-4558; Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 541-888-9324; U.S. Forest Service, 541-750-7000; or the Bureau of Land Management, 541-756-0100.
Interested in the Siuslaw National Forest? For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.fs.usda.gov/siuslaw or on Facebook at Discover Siuslaw National Forest and follow us at twitter.com/SiuslawNF.