As we move forward in our fight against the National Park Services' "final ORV rule" many people are becoming involved in the issues here that had quit out of frustration as well as others who are relatively new, having only now, just begun to hear about the happenings on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands concerning beach access issues.
Of course, one of the things that we need done in an effort to stem the tide of this NPS land grab is for those concerned to contact media outlets and especially your elected representatives, and often. The age old phrase "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" applies here in grand fashion.
It's important though, that we all "sing the same song", per se, so that our communications are heeded and we don't end up confusing those that we wish to listen to our plight.
So here are some basic points that should help. At least that's my hope.
First off, this is not a park; not a national park either. As congress established the various areas that would fall under the administration of NPS, these areas were given specific designations. If you look through the "park system", you will find for example, national monuments, national parks, national wilderness areas, national forests, national recreational areas, national seashores, etc.
Here however, you find the nations first national seashore and the nations ONLY National Seashore Recreational Area. The true, legal, and proper name for this area is Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area or CHNSRA and NPS hates it.
So while referring to this area, please never use the term "park" but always Seashore, Recreational Area, Recreational Seashore or something similar, but never "park".
This is important because it rams home to NPS and whoever you may be talking to, the purpose of this Seashore as established by congress.
2) Congress mandated that this area be set aside for recreational use in 1937 and added the term recreational area in 1940 stating that the area be set aside and dedicated for the "benefit and enjoyment" of the American people. (Its hard to enjoy a place you cant visit)
3) Less than 3% of all wildlife mortality on these beaches since 1952 (when the Seashore was founded) can be attributed to humans and never has there been documentation of a piping plover having been harmed. Over 97% of all turtle and bird mortality and harm here has been attributed to storms and predation. This is reflected within the NPS records.
4) Four years of limited access under the consent decree showed no appreciable gains in wildlife reproductive success but did have a devastating impact on the economy of the islands and the overall visitor experience.
5)Many former visitors are publicly vowing to never return if these restrictions remain in place including the fees now charged for beach driving which are not charged to pedestrian visitors to the Seashore, forcing one user group fund the activities and infrastructure required by another.
6) The ban on night driving is based upon supposition and not science.
7) The NPS assertion that there are 2.2 million visitors to the Seashore annually is a fallacy as that would require that over 17,400 visitors were here every day of the year.
8) The newly established pedestrian only areas over lap with traditional bird nesting areas which will preclude even pedestrian access.
9) There is no meaningful access for mobility impaired persons.
And these are just some of the talking points about this final rule that can be shared with congress and your friends and who ever you think might be able to help us.
This is Americas Beach, not the private playground of NPS and their environmentalist buddies.