Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring is springing!

Well friends, spring is springing here on Hatteras Island, and apparently a tad earlier this year. This may come as some relief to our friend Jeff in New York as he seems to frequently post pictures of yet another 18 inches of snow.

I rather liked our big snow here better. It snowed a foot one day and it was gone, by and large, the next. Perhaps we have the benefit of having everything already covered with salt, free of charge, before the snow begins.

I suppose spring is my favorite time of year though I still debate it. And if your a fan of fishing these islands and read the various fishing forums dedicated, at least in part, to that subject, it's hard not to start getting excited because it wont be long before the drum, bluefish, cobia and a host of other fishes, return to our beaches.

Of course spring also means, at least these last few years, miles of string and thousands of signs along our beaches and N.C. Highway 12, a state designated "Scenic Byway". NPS makes the string of South Of The Boarder signs along I-95 appear amateurish.

One big difference between those signs is that the South Of The Border signs attempt to spur economic activity while those erected by NPS are designed to destroy an economy under the auspices of protecting wildlife. Of course while we think on this subject, it's important to remember that the majority of these seas of signs, the majority of beach closures, are for the "protection" of birds that even Gordon Meyers, Chairman of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, says don't need protection at these levels.

If you've never seen one of these signs, here is a picture I took the other day at Cape Point just outside of the Plover pre-nesting stadium.

This spring has also apparently resulted in yet another re-emergence of an apparent relative of the famed "Snorkle Tern", the seldom seen "Jungle Tern" and here is his closure.

This would be a good time to point out to those that don't know, the above mentioned species don't actually exist except as a commentary on how ridiculous these closures at the Seashore actually are.

This spring has also come with the thought that the Coast Gard might close Oregon Inlet because of shoaling and the monies for continued dredging will soon run out. Now I'm no professor, and bathyography and hydrodynamics aren't my forte' but it seems to me that putting the same sand you just dredged, back into the same hole, and into the same fast current, is not going to provide good long term results.

But that's not why I bring this up. Apparently there has been an ongoing debate about whether a jetty or groin north of the inlet would be the key to solving the shoaling issue. I'm not going to debate the issue as I don't know the science though I am amazed at the NPS opinion on the subject.

Found on a local board, comes this statement from NPS:

"• Construction of the jetties will diminish much of the public’s

recreational use of the Bodie Island spit, which, according to Interior, is
contrary to one of the legislative purposes of the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore. Interior stated that the construction of the north jetty on land
of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore would block access to a large
portion of the spit currently used for recreational activities such as
fishing, and a large section of the spit would be dredged away or used as
the site of the proposed sand deposition basin.

• The jetty project may not significantly reduce the loss of life at Oregon
Inlet. Interior points to data which shows that, in some cases, the loss
of life is not due to conditions at the inlet but rather to such factors as
alcohol consumption, unfamiliarity with the inlet, navigational errors,
and the lack of life vests and survival suits. According to Interior, these
factors would not be corrected by construction of the jetties. Interior
also raised concerns that the construction of hard structures would
introduce a new risk to vessels traveling through Oregon Inlet, based on
accident data from other jettied inlets.

For these and other reasons, NPS does not support the construction of the
proposed jetty project. NPS stated that the jetty project is not consistent
with its mission of protecting, and it might actually impair, the resources
and values of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore"


Block access to Bodie Island spit? You mean the same Bodie island spit that NPS proposes to close to virtually all human access of any form? And now they are worried about access?

It's no wonder dealing with NPS is like trying to win a pissing contest against a skunk.

This spring also brought a blog post by Irene Nolan last Friday about a letter she received. Quite frankly, reading that letter was to me,  like a swift kick in the teeth. The author smites the residents of the Islands with shame again and again. And in true form, Irene responded beautifully. You can read what she wrote at:

My response:

I can say to the writer of this letter, that though you and I are in complete agreement that this is a travesty, this is a national, not local, issue. And the reality, Sir or Madam, is that it's up to all of us to fight this fight, including you.

There are many that deal with the issues at this Seashore daily, including myself. But we cant win this fight on our own, and if you actually care about what is happening here as it sounds you do, you will fight with us. We will never win this fight unless everybody that cares about access to these beaches unites and rises to the occasion.

Complaining about the loss of access on a tackle shop board or someones blog wont do it.

In the time it took you to compose that letter, you could have written one to a congressman instead. Perhaps even made a phone call to voice your displeasure at what's happening here. That's what it's going to take to win it. Look at what the Bridge Moms did!

And somehow this quote comes to mind:

"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." John Adams
Our fight is against an agenda driven governmental bureaucracy which demands protections it cannot justify. And a change in management policy that will violate the very core of this Recreational Areas' lawful establishment by the Congress.

Are just a couple of examples of sites you can visit to help.


an on eye mouse

Actually, we're not alone. And at least once and a while the fight against stupid wildlife management policy can be funny, albeit sad at the same time. My friend John sent me an email the other day reminding me of a story in the great coyote fight going on out west. In this chapter, trapping, and other forms of extermination were failing to protect ranchers herds and causing significant economic loss.
The solution proposed by the US Forest Service and the Sierra Club was to capture and castrate a portion of the male population.

There was, at one of the public meetings on the subject, an astute rancher who sat through the governments presentation of the above mentioned proposal and said something to the affect:

""Son, I don't think you understand our problem here... these coyotes ain't screwin' our sheep... they're eatin' 'em!" The meeting never really got back to order."

And it's because of stuff like that that we need band together and defeat this unbelievable and illegal change to our Seashore. We're doing what we can from the Islands but we need your help.

Tight Lines,


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