Monday, September 20, 2010

Of Access, The Bridge, And Now They Want To Kill The Horses!


When I was growing up, one of the most anticipated moments of the year was when we packed it up and left Virginia to visit my mothers home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where we'd spend a nice chunk of summer. Coming from Williamsburg, where at the time, traditional values and ways of life were a very big part of almost all things, visiting her tiny hometown where generations of families had lived and died, further enhanced my appreciation and understanding of that aspect of life; tradition.

And what a contrast. All of the streets and even the main road were dirt. My Grandmother still spoke, wrote, and read Scots Gaelic. She also held a tract of land that was a royal grant from King George III, tax free, "forever and a day". She refused an electric oven in favor of the coal fired stove she'd always cooked on and not one soul complained. (laughing) Tradition!

Just a few miles down the road was the coast and another tradition filled hamlet called Port Morien. Every morning, excepting Sunday of course, the watermen would leave the docks to ply the seas in search of lobsters, cod, mackerel, and other tasty treats. The same is true here on Hatteras Island and always has been. And in both cases, the respective governments and their regulators have mucked it up.

I suppose when some folks think of commercial fishing down here, they think of different things such as charter boats or crabbers, oystermen, or those that set nets of one sort or another, out to sea, to harvest their catch. But they're not the only ones. A few of these folks also fish directly from the beach as they were promised that they would always have the right to do. It is after all, a traditional activity that even the National Environmental Policy Act requires be considered in any management decision, relative in this case, to the Seashore.

Last check, two turtle nests on South beach, separated by probably a half mile or better were keeping that much beach closed and preventing these guys from being able to fish that entire swath. This closure also prevented any access by recreational fishermen and those families that just wanted some quality beach time. In other words, everybody!

Ok Mike, you're required to provide the commercial fishermen access and the enabling legislation requires you to "develop" the area if its for recreation, it's needed, and it's adaptable. The interdunal road between Ramp 44 and Ramp 49 is still there and it needs opened in order to satisfy extant federal law. I should need say no more though I likely will.


The point of the "tradition" comments comes largely from the story about the horses I read today. The critters in question live on the north end of Bodie Island at or about Corolla. These are descendants of Spanish Mustangs that arrived here 500 years ago and have rightfully earned a place in the hearts of many and a place on these islands as well.

Enter the gubment, again. The same one that's trying to force us off our beaches, doing the best job they can at delaying the construction of a new bridge, is now wanting to eliminate the horses.

 Some might say that's an alarmist statement and I can understand that. However, anybody that's been involved with the fight for beach access in some fashion or another is well aware that the time honored tactic that affects us so dramatically is that the gubment takes things in pieces.

It's a sure fire bet that any animal USFWS considers a nuisance has got cross-hairs on its back. If you don't believe me, go talk to the "thousands" of geese they gassed, yes gassed, at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge even though they had no way of discriminating between migratory and resident birds.

So anyway, here's a link to the article. These folks are determined to get anything they don't like off these beaches.


Well it appears that NCDOT has had enough of the federal horse poop they can handle and wants to proceed with the record of decision that would replace the ailing Bonner Bridge after 30 years of study.

As always, the best place to read about it is Island Free Press.

Also Bridge Moms have a new way to help with a new letter on their facebook page. If you care about someone that crosses that bridge and you're a mom of any definition, please help by spending a little of your time to support a new bridge.

Well folks, I hope you'll find it in your hearts to help. Ive got some reels to spool and rigs to tie so I'm off to chores.

Tight Lines,


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