On the morrow, a bunch of folks will gather at the Buxton fire hall and proceed to march north to the Fessenden Center just a few hundred yards up the road as a show of solidarity and protest against the as yet incomplete NPS Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Today I learn that already this year we've lost a plover nest to overwash from the ocean and an Oystercatcher nest as a result of predation. So far this season, the numbers of nesting pair hasn't really changed in spite of the immense draconian beach closures and the economic devastation that has been the result. Today we lost yet another beach access ramp. Ramp 23 is now closed until probably August for non endangered, non threatened birds that breed all over the place.
Next week it will be ramp 44 and maybe ramp 43 as well. All because in somebody's twisted mind a single piping plover chick needs 771 acres of room. And once this happens, Cape Point is closed and the islands economy will go straight down the drain for another summer. Already, Hatteras Village and all of Ocracoke suffer these effects. Already people arrive from around the country and become angry because of the closures. Already various message boards are littered with postings that proclaim cancellations and the intent to go elsewhere, some never to return or so they profess.
State Sen. Marc Basnight and Rep. Tim Spear addressed this issue on May 4th in their comments to the Park Service on the DEIS.
"Before commenting on the contents of the document, we would like to call attention to the shocking exclusion of useful data to determine the potential economic impact of Alternative F. The DEIS suggests “F” will have revenue impacts on small businesses “at the low end of the estimated range rather than the high end.” From our conversations with small business owners on Hatteras Island, any restriction in access will have severe economic impacts to their families, as the closures in the past years have. In an already disastrous economy, the actions taken by the Court and the Service have proved devastating to all businesses and residents on Hatteras Island. For anyone to claim differently would be either a misguided statement of ignorance or just a pure falsification of the truth. The last names of the original settlers of Hatteras Island can be found in the phonebook to this day. These families have been rooted in this community even before the founding of our nation. Today, their livelihoods are being threatened by that government."
"The key to any management plan is flexibility. Without the ability to change user patterns while keeping access open, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area will become but a memory to generations of users from across the globe. We would say that nowhere in our great nation can individuals enjoy the beauty and sereneness of our coast as in the Seashore. For decades, families have been coming to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands to utilize this area as President Roosevelt envisioned."
Now that's all about calling it like it really is. For the full text go to http://outerbanksvoice.com/2010/05/05/legislators-dispute-access-studys-economic-claim/#more-9170
Its worth a read.
I'll post again in a bit...have to break for a few.