Its getting to be crunch time for public comment about the NPS Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the NPS preferred alternative. (Alt F) With only a couple of weeks to go, many of us are shifting through this mountain of charts and rules, dates, and proposed closures.
One thing is certain. If NPS implements their plan as is, the American people are going to be screwed right out of this place while still paying to maintain it. Especially hard hit will be the young families living on a tight budget and their children. Hatteras has always been a place where a family could get by without breaking the bank and still have an excellent time.
I've been in this fight for years and my computers have been too. Ive got gigabytes of studies on birds, turtles, erosion, drainage, closures, federal law, NPS management policy, Seashore history, etc at my fingertips and I still find the DEIS to be an overwhelming document. I cant imagine how intimidating it must be for someone unfamiliar with the issues.
In an attempt to deal with the complexity, the Coalition for Beach Access has released video of the workshops that were held and a copy of the informative handout that will make submitting a public comment alot easier. These can be found at:
Another thing that was done was to ask for an extension to the 60 (not long enough) day comment period so that we could have some chance at digesting this 810 page document and make intelligent and informed comment. NPS turned the CBA down, flat.
Last week, members of the community made a suicide run to DC to talk to NPS Director Jon Jarvis asking for the extension again. Also on Friday, a letter was sent to his office asking for same from U.S.Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan as well as Walter Jones, Member of Congress. Hopefully, this will help.
I think everybody should write director Jarvis and ask for an extension. His e-mail address is: Jon_Jarvis@nps.gov (please note that it reads Jon_Jarvis).
Tell him the document is overwhelming and you think the public needs more time.
In any case, please take the time to make an informed comment. Our comments are like votes to some degree. The more that say no, the more ammo we have down the road.