News Release

For Release:  March 4, 2008          
Contact:  Kathy Stangl (707) 825-2300 or  Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
CA-N-08-29

BLM Reminds Beach Visitors About Snowy Plover Protection Measures

The spring and summer use season is underway at the South Spit Cooperative Management Area, and the Bureau of Land Management is reminding visitors about the special rules in place to protect nesting snowy plovers.

“With our partners, we are working hard to maintain and improve plover habitat,” said Kathy Stangl, assistant field manager for the BLM’s Arcata Field Office.  “Plovers are nesting successfully thanks to beach visitors keeping vehicles and dogs out of nesting areas.”
 
Stangl said plovers, which are sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebirds, lay their eggs in shallow scrapes in the sand, making them vulnerable to dogs and vehicles.  The following rules were designed to protect nests of the threatened bird:

 Dogs must be on leashes on the ocean side of the South Jetty Road during plover nesting season which runs from March 1 to Sept. 15.  Dogs are welcome to romp off-leash on the bay side of the South Jetty Road.

 Drivers can get to the wave slope (the wet sand areas washed by the previous high tide) on four designated access corridors, but may not take vehicles into the sand dunes. (Riders who want opportunities for open sand dune riding can visit the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area at the North Spit).

 Twenty acres of the 4.5 mile-long spit are marked with signs and set aside for plover habitat restoration and are not open to public access between March 1 and Sept. 15. 

This summer, BLM is assigning “plover guides” to the South Spit to provide visitors with information about how to enjoy the area without impacting habitat.

“Our guides have brochures about Western snowy plovers and other topics.  They will even loan leashes to dog owners who forget to bring one,” Stangl said.

More information about the South Spit is available from the BLM Arcata Field Office, (707) 825-2300 or online at www.blm.gov/ca/arcata.

-BLM-

Arcata Field Office    1695 Heindon Rd.     Arcata, CA  95521