National Park Service 9/19/11
Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Recreational Area)
1401 National Park Drive
Manteo, North Carolina
Re: (RIN) 1024-AD85
In this correspondence I submit additional comment relative to the National Park Service (NPS or the “service”) proposed rule (RIN) 1024-AD85.
On September 6th, 2011 NPS announced that the service had extended the public comment period pertaining to (RIN) 1024-AD85 aka the proposed new “rule”, until midnight September 19th 2011 in order to accommodate those that may have been affected by Hurricane Irene.
Hurricane Irene struck the Outer Banks of North Carolina on the 27th of August however, NPS waited until the 6th of September to announce an extension of the public comment period, the last day comment was supposed to be accepted. Almost immediately, NPS received many thousands of comments which were simple “cut and paste” copies of an “action alert” published by Jason Rylander, an attorney for the Defenders of Wildlife; one of the environmental organizations which have for years has sought to severely restrict and ultimately disallow, ORV and pedestrian access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. (As defined within 16USC459 sec.3)
I am certain that NPS is aware of the source of these “cut and paste” comments which are repetitive and designed to do nothing than to “stack the deck” against those that live, work on, and visit these islands with the intention of enjoying our public lands as congress directed NPS to facilitate.
What is alarming is that NPS accepts these comments in spite of the fact that they do not fulfill the basic requirements set forth by the service regarding comment submission. The service made it very clear within the instructions for comment submission that all comments must contain two items. On the first instant, NPS declares that all comment must be addressed to either NPS or the National Park Service, on the second; all comments must contain the rule identification number (RIN) 1024-AD85.
As per NPS:
“Comments submitted through Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov or submitted by mail must be entered or postmarked before midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) September 19, 2011.
Comments submitted by hand delivery must be received by the close of business hours (5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) on September 19, 2011.
Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above, and bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
All submissions must include the words “National Park Service” or “NPS” and
must include the identifying number 1024-AD85.(emphasis added) Comments received through the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov will be available on the regulations.gov web site, usually without change. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment -- including your personal identifying information -- may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To view comments received through the Federal eRulemaking portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter 1024-AD85 in the Keyword or ID search box.”
As such, by the services own requirements for comment submission, all comment received through this “cut and paste” effort, which fail to comply with the above mentioned requirements, need disallowed and should be rejected. If NPS won’t follow its own rules, the service has no right to expect the owners of this seashore, the American people, to do so either.
In addition, NPS claims within its federal register announcement of the proposed “final rule” that one of the endangered species that makes this “rule” necessary is Seabeach Amaranth. However, the service announced recently (2010) that this plant species was extirpated, aka, “locally extinct” within the Seashore. The service then went on to explain that it could take up to five years before any seeds remaining from the previous generations of the Amaranth might germinate.
The proposed rule which is based upon “Alternative F”, found within the NPS published Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Recreational Area) Final Environmental Impact Statement (NPS 2010), speaks of reintroduction of this plant species to the Seashore. This proposal will of course involve the creation of what NPS deems suitable habitat and is likely to result in further beach closures and loss of traditional access to the American public within our lands, and at the public’s expense.
I find it odd that NPS is willing to adapt habitat for an extirpated species of plants and yet is so unwilling to modify other previously proven successful habitat so that avian species such as the barely threatened Piping Plover and other assorted non threatened, non endangered species might thrive without impeding public access to our Seashore. Superintendant Murray was recently quoted in reference to modifying habitat around the dredge pond near Cape Point, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. This area, having been previously and successfully modified for avian habitat will not be considered by NPS as an option. Murray was quoted (relative to current habitat) as saying, “it is where it is”.
Well Mr. Murray, if you propose to create habitat for a plant, then you must consider modifying habitat for avian species as well. This is especially true considering your congressional mandate to develop this area for recreational use, else all you do is end up developing and furthering an agenda to remove the American people from their beaches which results in a breach of federal law and the public trust.
Buxton, North Carolina