I have to say, it's a wonderful thing to have a night in February that's warm enough to sleep with the windows open. It's another thing entirely to have two basketball sized raccoons deciding to duke it out on your deck, just outside the bedroom window at 3am. I don't know who won the fray but I could have sold tickets. Round one began on the deck followed by another which proceeded an amazing display of raccoon gymnastics and culminating in an incredibly loud finish on the roof.
Obviously I need to establish a pre-sleeping closure around the house to prevent further disturbance and to avoid allowing these masked balls of teeth and claw from having any considerable adverse impact upon the sleeping humans now known to rest in this area.
Come to think of it, if I did put up a closure, my local landscape would match that which we will soon see all over this island.
By the 15th of March, NPS must complete it's spring erection. As a result, the Islands will become lined with thousands upon thousands of signs, miles of string, and red plastic ribbon; all in declaration of one thing, No People Allowed!
I'm no topographer but I've always had an interest in maps and my eyes are telling me that something like 60% of the Seashore on Hatteras Island will be off limits within three weeks. This comes with a quick preview of the 2011 pre-nesting closure maps released by NPS yesterday. I'm sure within days I'll have a pretty accurate figure as they are already being analyzed.
These closures are astounding. You can see for yourself at:
I don't imagine that I need to remind anyone that these closures affect pedestrians and ORV's both.
Nor do I suppose you need reminded that during the so far three years of draconian closures with the corresponding impact on our economy, no appreciable gain has been made by wildlife at the seashore.
Oh we heard all about the record turtle nesting last year. NPS and the environmental crowd were beside themselves as they boasted of their success. Interesting how quiet they became when a combination of NPS management and coastal storms resulted in a loss of almost 50% of the nests.
This should make you mad. This should make you sit down and write a letter to a congressman. Take a few minuets and call them too. And don't let up. Need a little more inspiration?
These miles of signs are amazing. Clearly they are a sub species that has now become accustomed to the Island environment. I say so because they have obviously begun to propagate since every year they grow in large numbers. This increase far outpaces breeding success among plovers, American oyster-catchers, black skimmers..etc.
I don't think anyone has named this species yet so I'm going to take a shot at it with "Hatteras Island Easter Cactus"
I think it's a cactus because cacti are "succulents" and these things sure do suck and from time to time are associated with pricks, also a characteristic of cacti. The Easter part is obvious as the blossom prolifically around that time of year.
To learn more about this species, watch this video.
So if that wasn't enough to get you fired up, as reported by Irene Nolan in her blog at http://www.islandfreepress.org/ , we might have the pleasure of Boyle and Derb running the Seashore for some time to come.
C'mon everybody, lets count a 2007 IMS that was working which turned into the decree of forced consent which hasn't been working, to a failed negotiated rulemaking joke, to a draft environmental impact statement which didn't include the required economic impact study. Then we get the Final environmental impact study which is an incredible insult to all Americans, then an incredibly flawed economic study.
And now we find out that that there needs to be yet another taxpayer funded environmental study to see if the proposals in the final (FINAL in case you couldn't read it) environmental impact study will impact the environment.
Hi, I'm from the government, I'm here to help, trust me.
Oh, and the fun part is, it's the ORV user who will pay for all of these "improvements" via the new permits. So says Mike Murray.
Wake up Mr. Murray! Your current activity which results in a significant derogation of the mission established for this Seashore by congress is already driving many people from these beaches. Your intended actions will drive away many more. So you might want to re-think your math. I realize the agenda is to destroy the economy down here and eliminate people from the beaches but you're cutting your nose off to spite your face and angering alot of people that insist on being heard. A lot of that going around these days.
I have a better and less expensive proposition. Return the Seashore to pre 2005 management policy until such a time, as stipulated in Carters E.O. 11989, that you can show that access to this Seashore by ORV "either has caused or will cause considerable adverse effects", something we both know, you cant do now.
Though you tout this very E.O. as justification for what you propose, you fail to follow it's stipulations.
Write your letters my friends, make the calls. And while you're at it, check to make sure your dues is paid up for your access organizations membership. If you're not a member, please join us in this fight for free and open access to the nations first National Seashore.