The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faced local opposition at last night’s public hearing on its proposed rule that would designate hundreds of miles of beaches along the North Carolina coast as critical habitat for endangered loggerhead turtles. Much of the same land doubles as a critical habitat for the wintering piping plover, a threatened shorebird. Fish and Wildlife faced similar contention in 2001 when this rule went into effect. But since then, they’ve seen a gradual recovery in the piping plover population.