Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finally, I Get to Announce This After Waiting For Months

My mother always said I had the "patience of a saint" which is why, I suppose I like fishing so much. As it turns out, dealing with beach access issues requires even more patience than fishing.

Many are those that have complained that nothing was being done all this time, but those of us who were "there" know quite different.

In the past weeks, we've seen a lawsuit filed, a petition started that has gained over 12,000 signatures in just over a week and now, the beginning of another project we have worked on for some time.

Without further ado,


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) introduced H.R. 4094, legislation that would restore reasonable pedestrian and motorized access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  The bill would overturn a final rule implemented by the National Park Service (NPS) two weeks ago, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court approved Consent Decree.  Both the Rule and the Consent Decree excessively restrict human access to the Recreational Area.  The bill would reinstitute the Park Service’s 2007 Interim Management Strategy (IMS) to govern visitor access and species protection in the Recreational Area.  The Interim Strategy was backed up by a 113-page Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which found that it would not jeopardize the species of concern, namely piping plover and sea turtles.  H.R. 4094 has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee for further consideration. 
“The federal government needs to remember that Cape Hatteras was established to be a recreational area for the American people,” said Congressman Jones.  “But taxpayers can’t recreate without access to the beach.  The goal of management ought to be a balanced approach between visitor access and species protection.  The Final Rule falls short of that goal.  The Interim Strategy comes much closer to hitting the target.” 

Catherine M. Fodor
Communications Director
Rep. Walter B. Jones (NC-3)
2333 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3415

H. R. ll

To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes.


Mr. JONES introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on llllllllllllll

To  authorize  pedestrian  and  motorized  vehicular  access  in Cape Hatteras  National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes.

1          Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-

2   tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


4          This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Preserving Access to

5   Cape Hatteras  National Seashore Recreational Area Act’’.

1  SEC.       2.      REINSTATEMENT          OF      INTERIM        MANAGEMENT

2                       STRATEGY.

3          (a) MANAGEMENT.—After the date of the enactment

4  of this Act, Cape Hatteras  National Seashore Recreational

5  Area  shall  be managed  in  accordance with  the  Interim

6  Protected   Species  Management  Strategy/Environmental

7  Assessment issued by the National Park  Service on June

8  13, 2007, for the Cape Hatteras  National Seashore Rec-

9  reational Area, North Carolina, unless the Secretary of the

10  Interior  (hereafter  in  this  Act referred  to  as  the  ‘‘Sec-

11  retary’’) issues a new final rule that  meets the  require-

12  ments set forth in section 3.

13          (b) RESTRICTIONS.—The Secretary  shall not impose

14  any additional restrictions  on pedestrian or motorized ve-

15  hicular access to any portion of Cape Hatteras  National

16  Seashore Recreational Area for species protection beyond

17  those in the Interim Management Strategy,  other than as

18  specifically authorized  pursuant  to section 3 of this  Act.


20                      HATTERAS            NATIONAL           SEASHORE            REC-

21                      REATIONAL        AREA      FOR      SPECIES        PROTEC-

22                       TION.

23          (a) IN  GENERAL.—If, based on peer-reviewed science

24  and after  public comment, the Secretary  determines that

25  additional restrictions  on access to a portion of the Cape

26  Hatteras   National  Seashore  Recreational  Area  are  nec-

1  essary to protect  species listed as endangered under  the

2  Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.),

3  the  Secretary  may  only restrict,  by  limitation,  closure,

4  buffer, or otherwise, pedestrian  and  motorized vehicular

5  access for recreational  activities for the shortest  possible

6  time  and  on the  smallest  possible portions  of the  Cape

7   Hatteras  National Seashore Recreational Area.

8          (b)    LIMITATION       ON     RESTRICTIONS.—Restrictions

9  imposed under this section for protection of species listed

10  as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973

11  (16  U.S.C.  1531  et  seq.) shall not  be greater  than  the

12  restrictions in effect for that species at any other National

13  Seashore.

14       (c)  CORRIDORS  AROUND   CLOSURES.—To the  max-

15  imum extent possible, the Secretary shall designate pedes-

16  trian  and vehicular corridors of minimal distance on the

17  beach  or  interdunal  area  around  closures  implemented

18  under this section to allow access to areas not closed.


20                       DEGREE.

21          (a) FINAL RULE.—The  final rule titled ‘‘Special Reg-

22  ulations, Areas of the National  Park  System, Cape Hat-

23  teras National Seashore—Off-Road Vehicle Management’’

24  (77  Fed.  Reg. 3123–3144)  shall have no force or effect

25  after the date of the enactment of this Act.

1          (b) CONSENT DECREE.—The April 30, 2008, consent

                        2   decree filed in the  United  States  District  Court  for the

3   Eastern  District  of North Carolina regarding off-road ve-

4   hicle use at  Cape Hatteras   National  Seashore  in North

5   Carolina shall not apply after  the date  of the enactment

6   of this Act.

Well there it is. And that makes the ongoing petition even more important. With over 12,000 signatures in just a week and change, this could go far.


if you use facebook..if not, use this link.


It's good to finally get this out after having been a part of working on it for months now. Thanks to all of the folks that played a part.
Now I think I'll take a nap, well deserved, I think.

Tight Lines,



  1. And That's That....I Like Fishing Too, And Need A Nap As Well !!!! :) <*)))><

  2. Please write these people and show support to the bill.


  3. The SELC will rally to prevent this bill from passing, we need to do the same, be ready to do whatever necessary to get this bill passed. Thank heavens Congressman Jones introduced this bill, now to get it passed.

  4. You are right, our efforts need to become even more concerted now to see that this bill even gets a chance. I am not heartened however by our chances given the consideration this has been given in his (Jones) previous attempts, but maybe 3rd time's the charm?