What was devastating to the people who come to visit this amazing place and the residents of the islands was that within five minutes of the beginning of the "scheduling conference" in Boyle's courtroom, and without hearing any testimony, hizzhonor declared that he was prepared to shut the entire Seashore to all access for three years via the injunction that SELC requested. And if that doesn't blow your mind, he went on further to question whether those that represented pro access..aka, you and me, even had a right to be in the courtroom. SAY WHAT? We're the only people in the entire room that can show harm done and you have the audacity to question our standing? Lives are being affected here your Honor, Jobs are being lost (including my own) business are having to close and you wonder if we have standing? Did you get your law degree online? Oh thats right, Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet, sorry.
So, during this conference SELC and NPS admitted that they had been involved in negotiations to resolve the issue. Excuse me folks but this is a direct violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act (FAPA) as any agency of the gubment that enters into negotiations with a non governmental organization (NGO) must publish the fact in the Federal Register and allow for public comment. This was not done and Boyle didn't call them on it. Go figure.
The consent decree and its provisions represented a significant departure from previous park management policy which also requires the completion of a process dictated by the National Environmental Policy Act. (NEPA) This requires an environmental impact study/ statement, an economic impact statement and a period of public comment, all of which was ignored. Whats amazing is that last year, Mike Murray, Superintendent of the Seashore was quoted in a Raleigh, N.C. newspaper as stating that in fact the consent decree DID represent a significant change in previous management policy.
Such begins the story of the violation of federal law that has resulted in so much economic devastation and the potential loss of a future for the children of the families that live here.
All without cause, all without the ability to show harm, and all at the expense of the taxpayer.
Believe me when I tell you this is just the tip of the iceberg...
Consider this picture which demonstrates the disdain that NPS feels for "we the people". While our economy goes into the tank at taxpayer expense, a federal employee (NPS) goes shelling on a beach closed to all pedestrian and vehicular access. Note that this within a closure designated for the federally protected Piping Plover and that virtually all scientific studies show that pedestrians bother these birds. But those rules only apply to those of us that pay these peoples salary.