Country singer Willie Nelson has asked American President George W Bush to intervene in a land dispute between farmers and the Navy over a proposed jet practice field in rural North Carolina.

The Navy says it plans to build the landing field in the middle of 33,000 acres (13 hectares) of farmland south of Plymouth.

In a recent letter to Bush, Nelson, who is also president of FARM AID, raised concerns over potential damage to the nearby Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, the winter home to thousands of tundra swans and snow geese.

He also said Navy pilots would be at risk of colliding with birds.

Nelson urged the president to order the Navy to find a different site, and other opponents have sent e-mails, letters and post cards to the White House.

A 19-member panel of residents and representatives from government and the military is studying the proposal.

Two lawsuits have been filed against the Navy to stop the field.

29/03/2004 11:18