Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading Off Of The Same Page

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.

Tight Lines,



  1. Excellent talking points. Hopefully it will be put forth in peoples voices as they reach out to media and elected officials.

  2. To your credit I cut and pasted your talking points in a letter that went off to Senator Webb today. I do not know if I will ever hear back from him but it atleast gets the message out in it's own tiny way.

  3. Please don't lump all environmentalists in with these organizations that want to turn a National Recreation area into a National Park and bird sanctuary. Hatteras island has been developed for generations. It has a unique way of life that's under attack by people who want to turn it into another place reserved only for the rich.

    I'm an avid bodysurfer and environmentalist who strongly opposes the attempts by a few organizations who want to replace people on Hatteras island with birds. There are miles and miles of beach that are off limits to vehicular access. Reducing the very limited existing access and charging a high price for it will destroy the unique culture of Hatteras but it won't save species that are already in trouble.

    People have been driving on this beach for decades. Records show it hasn't caused the bird and turtle deaths, so why is NPS using birds as an excuse for driving people out of Hatteras? Science does not support the NPS actions. I guess they want to turn it into a National Park that they control. As sea level rises and Pea Island washes away, Hatteras Island will become an exclusive getaway with limited access for rich people to watch birds. Middle and working class people need not apply.

    No one is dealing with the real threats to the Outer Banks caused by rising sea level and mismanagement of sand.

    Good luck folks. Your way of life will soon be gone. One of my favorite bodysurfing beaches, the hook, is pretty much now out of reach. So long to that little piece of freedom. I guess I won't have much reason to come your way from my part of eastern NC. There's better access to south facing beaches here.

    It's obvious that the NPS wants to put the whole area under the glass lid of their control. You middle class folks that live in Hatteras and enjoy this area will be driven out in a few years if you don't fight back with everything you have.

  4. I don't subscribe to the "class warfare" angle of the rich/middle class vs poor aspect. I think it is more of a confilct of ecological philosophy. The NPS set the stage for this confrontation by thier absoloute horrendous handling of a vehicle management plan that dates from 1974. They "lost" the ORV plan initially submitted and approved in 1977? Seriously?
    The rest is sadly history that will have to be played out in court rooms . No matter what I think the CHNRSA will never return to it's former freedom for anyone or animal.

  5. Great News. I hope and pray this proposed legislation is passed quickly so the beleaguered people of Hatteras see some relief. I hope this also sends the right message to the NPS. Maybe they will think twice before trying to pull a similar stunt somewhere else.

  6. I am a little surprised that you are not talking about the timing of this " new" bill. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad congressman Jones has introduced it, he did save the horses last month in Corolla. It seems upsetting to me that we have suffered four years with our animals being murdered at the hands of the Park Service, our beaches closed even to walk on them, causing economic disaster on Hatteras Island! Congressman Jones is running for re-election as is our county commissioners, Burrus and Judge. Where have they been for the past four years? It was at their hands that this consent degree was signed overturning a congressional law. I believe in the saying: stop repeat offenders- don't re-elect them! We need elected officials that will fight for the needs of this county, beach stabilization, bonnor bridge, open beaches etc...

  7. Well Carol. The simple fact is that nothing could be done until we had the final rule in our hands and knew what it said. Had NPS satisfied the deadlines mandated by the court, I imagine this would have been done earlier. However, NPS has no regard for either the courts or the law and is determined to do what they wish when ever it pleases them.