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,
JONES INTRODUCES BILL TO RESTORE ACCESS TO CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE RECREATIONAL AREA
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
Rep. Walter B. Jones (NC-3)
2333 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
H. R. ll
To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes.
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,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
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
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.
19 SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS TO CAPE
20 HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE REC-
21 REATIONAL AREA FOR SPECIES PROTEC-
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
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.
19 SEC. 4. INAPPLICABILITY OF FINAL RULE AND CONSENT
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.