This has been a busy week for those of us involved in the issues of access and for that matter, egress to Hatteras Island.
We had a visit from Walter B. Jones earlier in the week where he had the opportunity to hear fist hand about the effects of the various actions and activities conducted by the National Park Service. Though not present, I was told that Rep. Jones was quite dismayed by what he heard.
Also we received news of yet another roadblock thrown at us by the USFWS in their now decades old attempt at preventing a replacement for the aged and ailing Bonner Bridge, our lifeline to the outside world. Part of their demands includes that North Carolina cede the ten acres of land at the old Coast Guard station, including the building itself, you see on the left as you come down the Hatteras Island side of the bridge.
What's astounding about this is that USFWS doesn't own the land upon which Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge exists. It belongs to NPS and is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. Therefore, USFWS has no claim and cant negotiate with what does not belong to them. The full story can be found here:
In addition, the islands have again become a sea of signs compliments of NPS and ironically, the proponents of VFAs, or vehicle free areas are finding out that the prenesting closures that have recently been erected happen to coincide with their pedestrian only areas, effectively turning them into wildlife refuges. NPS in their propaganda supporting said areas, the VFAs, never bothered to tell the pedestrian folks that the areas set aside for their glorious experience was going to be shut down before nesting began and eliminating access for the majority of the year in many cases. The Park Service, in their attempt at spinning the truth about pedestrian corridors in front of nesting closures even invented a new sign which has caused quite an uproar on the internet these last days. Have a look!
Walk in the water it says, leave no footprints behind. Well I guess that precludes anyone with difficulty walking from this chunk of beach. I wasn't aware that footprints deter bird nesting and I'm rather certain that the birds aren't either.
It is ok, if you work for the NPS, to leave tire tracks which wont wash away readily as the following photograph clearly shows.
As you can see, not only are the tire tracks outside of the closure, they are inside as well which considering the rain we've had lately, are fresh tracks. A classic example of NPS hypocrisy.
In addition to this new effort to remove reasonable human access from the Seashore. NPS this week released its 2011 animal slaughter report which details their ongoing efforts to interfere with the balance of nature which by their own admission, they do with increased efficiency. That report can be found here:
You may also wish to read the commentary of Dr. Mike Berry regarding the so called "science" utilized by NPS as they "manage" (what a joke") the Seashore. That can be found here:
And lastly, I have been asked to help give an idea of what sort of letters can be written to members of Congress and to who to contact.
Last week CHAPA, the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance, a project of OBPA, the Outer Banks Preservation Association, which includes actually several different groups, meaning CHAPA, sent letters to congress asking for support of H.R. 4094. The bill, introduced by Walter B. Jones, has been assigned to two congressional committees, the House Judiciary, and the House Natural Resources.
Included is a sample letter to the House Judiciary Committee which has been altered slightly so that you may use it as an example or alter and send it as written. These letters are an important part of what we must do in order to acquire support for H.R. 4094. In this case, you should send a letter to EACH of the members of the committee. Be sure to address them individually and provide your information at the end. The members of Judiciary may be found here:
I know it's work, but these people have to allow it to pass in committee before it can pass into law so please take the time to write them. Our access depends on it. Shortly I will post links for the House in general and the Natural Resources Committee as well.
So here is the letter. Please remember to change the address and date to each member!
The Honorable Lamar Smith
House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
March 12, 2012
Re: H.R. 4094, Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act
Dear Chairman Smith:
On February 28, 2012, the honorable Walter B. Jones introduced H.R. 4094, Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act.
This legislation became necessary when, on February 15, 2012, the National Park Service promulgated rules that severely restrict public access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (CHNSRA). Congressman Jones recognized that reasonable recreational access can only be assured through legislation that defines requirements which must be met by the National Park Service at CHNSRA.
This legislation is important to citizens across the state of North Carolina, as well as to citizens from all parts of the country who regularly visit the seashore seeking an affordable, family- oriented beach vacation.
I urge you to join Congressman Jones in this effort by supporting this important legislation, H.R. 4094, in your role on the House Judiciary Committee.
I also fully support the efforts of The Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA), and ask that you support their efforts as they work to restore reasonable and responsible access to our National Seashore Recreational Area. CHAPA is a grassroots project initiated by the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA) committed to balancing recreational access with resource management. For over thirty years, the OBPA has worked to maintain the seashore as intended by Congress when CHNSRA was established as the nation’s first, and only, National Seashore Recreational Area. Preserving the traditional and cultural values of the seashore has been a fundamental principal for CHAPA. The organization represents over 10,000 members from 38 states.
I look forward to seeing this legislation, with your help, move forward through committee and ultimately the full House.
(your name and info)
Please take the time to send these letters and dont hesitate to call the congresmen as well. This is how we begin our public fight against this injustice.