Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Yesterday, June 19th, was a very long day for many of us that have been working so hard for years on the issues of access. People from all over the country waited through the hours as the House of Representatives debated the bill containing H.R. 4094 which if enacted, will re-establish reasonable pedestrian and motorized access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. At around 5:30, the word began to spread that indeed the bill had passed and that it wasn't just along party lines, for a change. Something I find encouraging though I know we have a long road ahead of us.

Of course, much ado will be made by the "dark side" with claims that the legislation will reverse needed, scientifically based protections implemented by NPS to protect plants and animals here at the Seashore. And as usual, details contradicting these claims will be left to blow in the wind as though they don't matter. There won't be mention of the fact that visitors to the Seashore don't destroy the plants that flourish here. But they will bring up Sea beach Amaranth, a federally protected species. Never mind that the plant is considered extirpated, or locally extinct. They will bring up the Plovers which are seeing the lowest numbers of nesting pair (6) since the draconian closures implemented by the Consent Decree went into effect. They will also avoid mentioning that they include, among other things, the Pole Road, as open access mileage available to persons wishing to enjoy vehicular access to the Seashore though no beach access is available except for pedestrians. Another blatant spin designed to disguise the reality of what NPS has done to this incredible place and their effort to remove all of us from the beaches for as long as possible.

It's irritating at this point in spite of the elation about the passage of 4094. Irritating because the Fed thinks it can manage a resource in a better way than can the stewards of same, especially those that work with their environment on a day to day basis as opposed to a wet nosed environmental studies graduate that has never experienced "nature" outside of a classroom but is full of concepts, supposition and an agenda fostered by some idyllic image of how "nature" should be, sans the human element.

Case and point is the governments forest management. For years, especially since the great fire in Yellowstone, many have been calling for more sensible management of the forests we have and yet this has been resisted not only by environmental groups and their Utopian vision, but by the government as well. The result has been increasingly frequent calls from members of congress, industry, and the public, to better manage these areas; particularly to prevent out of control wildfires. Though the issues are complex, our national forests keep getting burned at an alarming rate and the growing consensus, is that it is a result of government mismanagement. I'm not going to begin to delve into this argument any further but I will say this. A good friend of mine who I have known since I was 10 lives in Ft. Collins, Co. Another lives in Arizona. Thousands of acres have been burned and the fed is being pointed out as the cause. As I write, my home is filled with smoke from another fire in NC on federal land that was started as a result of a "controlled" burn in 30 mph winds. Folks as far away as Hampton Va. have reported smoke.

The point being that if left up the federal government and their poor management policies, what ever will we have left? Billions upon billions of dollars are spent in the name of protecting one resource or another and yet all we seemingly end up with is tragedy. One needs look no farther than Plovers and turtles at the Seashore to discover just how inept these people can really be. It's time for a change. It's time for us to work to return our public lands to the people that really care, the true stewards of our resources. 

Of course, now we move onto yet another chapter in our fight to restore access to the American public, restore an economy, and re-establish the right to protect our Seashore for the benefit of future generations while still, as we always did, protecting the resource.

Our rally cry becomes "On To The Senate!"

H.R. (House of Representatives) 4094 has been passed. Now we need concentrate on S. (Senate) 2372.
This has to pass in the senate committee before it moves on and hits the floor of the Senate for a vote. The hearing will be held on the 27th of June, next Wednesday which means that it's imperative that we push, hard and fast, to make our voices heard.

Contact your Senators and push this bill through. Contact those that are on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Click on the contact button at the bottom and sent them an email. Remind them of why this matters to you and how much you care about this resource and access.

You can make a difference and now, if ever, is the time to do so.

Send an email to the White House as well explaining the same.

We only have until next Wednesday to get this done lets get at it!

Tight Lines,


Friday, June 15, 2012


I lately sat down to watch the HBO series “Band of Brothers” again as it reminds me of the struggles we face. They were a small segment of the force that fought for victory against seemingly insurmountable odds, beginning on D-Day, and continuing until the end of the European conflict in 1945. The story told by those that were there, and part of this struggle, is beyond words.  At the beginning of each episode, we are treated by a short thought by the veterans who lived through so much and dealt with the world literally crashing in around them. I can’t help but feel connected somehow with these incredible people. But then I imagine that was the point of the reach out, grab your heart to the point where you actually worry about these soldiers and their fate.

Though it’s wonderful that their story was finally told in a fashion that not only pulls from deep inside, but brings an all too realistic image into the living room, it reminds me somewhat of what we are up against.

Of course the two cannot be compared in real terms. In their fight, people died, many people died. We don’t deal with combat, deprivation, trench foot, bitter cold, lack of food, shelter, etc. And we don’t have bullets, mortar rounds, and artillery raining down upon us.  Though there can, in reality, be no real comparison, there are similar circumstances, albeit, without the bullets and cetera.

Oppression by the force of arms seems to be the common ground. During WWII it was a matter of ideology. It was about one people being superior to another, the “master race” was to dominate the world and anybody that stood in their way was to be exterminated.

What occurs here now, becomes government sponsored destruction of the very economy upon which the residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands depend. And it has become obvious over the years that this is an intentional effort by NPS and the Department of the Interior though clearly ideology is the driving force behind the NPS actions and agenda.

I was asked a question by a friend that lives on the island a couple weeks ago and it was, “do they think we are ghosts?”  I had to think about that for a bit, but considering all the things I've heard and seen over the years I've been involved in this mess, and the actions of NPS and their cohorts, I have begun to ask the same question. And as the days go by, the questions continue to mount, the NPS agenda becomes more blatant, but continues to lack any sort of reasoning other than the agenda itself.
Of course, much has happened since I sat down to write last. Mike Murray will retire next month as he stated he would do some three years ago. This of course after having turned the economy and lifestyle of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands upside down and opening the door to our collective ruin. He gets to leave with a nice government pension, health care, etc.. while families and businesses on the islands are left to suffer in part, because of the choices he made. Recently interviewed, he shifted the responsibility for his choices to NPS as a whole and even had the audacity to say that he wished that access advocates had tried to come to terms with the environmentalists. Murray seems to forget that it was his obligation to kick those groups out of negotiated rule-making once they filed a lawsuit  in violation of their agreement with the Secretary of the Interior. He also seems to forget that every concession made by access groups was met with an even harder line by DOW, Audubon and SELC.
If you want to read the interview, (try not to throw up) it's here:

In the mean time, H.R. 4094 goes to the House floor as part of a larger bill this coming week. Make a serious effort to contact your congressmen and ask for their support on this bill.
In addition, our bill will be considered in the Senate on the 27th. A hearing has been scheduled before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. in room SD-366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
S. 2372, a bill to authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. We really need to push this folks. Lots of phone calls and e-mails. It's to late, because of short notice to rely on snail mail. Direct contact is your best option.
To find your rep, for the House, go here:
For the Senate subcommittee on Natural Resources:
"It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease" folks, so please take the time to make the calls and email your representatives. If you want access in the future, this is what needs done. there is plenty of information here as well as , and
Two other things of interest are the extra signs that have shown up along Route 12 between Buxton and Avon and what happened to Ramp 43.
The new signs between the villages, are concentrated around Canadian Hole and "Kite Point", installed by NCDOT are intended to prevent people from parking on the side of Rt. 12 in order to kite board or wind surf, or for that matter, just surf. Apparently, this has also occurred down at Sandy Bay, between Frisco and Hatteras Village. The intent is obviously to prevent folks from parking on the side of a 55mph speed limit roadway; a hazard at best. But at the same time, it forces users of this area to purchase permits to drive on the sand like the rest of us have to. Of course, some continue to park along the road in spite of the signage. Here's a picture..I unfortunately don't have a credit. At least the blanket flowers still showed up.

So, yesterday I got a phone call about Ramp 43. And this is where I get back to the "agenda". In the first instance, NPS decided this week to open the area between Ramps 43 and 44 to access; pedestrian only access and only if you keep your feet wet. The chief propaganda minister, madame Holda also sought fit to inform the masses that the area had been re-established as a pre-nesting closure. It was originally closed as a prenesting area and then for Oystercatchers who have since nested and moved on. So they establish a nesting closure again? for invisible birds? in mid June? Oh that's right, the idea is to keep people off the beach as long as possible.
On top of that there are four turtle nests north of 43 that have been under water at least four times in the last week.
And if that isn't fun enough, NPS has moved Ramp 43 to the north. No longer do you drive up and over the long established, hardened dune, now you drive to the end of the former parking lot. I say former because there is really nowhere for anyone to park. So in their infinite wisdom, NPS has eliminated a perfectly good ramp in favor of eliminating any real pedestrian access in terms of parking and in the mean time created a funnel for ocean water to flood the entire area which will prevent virtually all access. Good job!

And of course, the fun part was going out to see all the folks on the sand.

As in nobody was on the beach by me.

If that's not fun enough, the NPS created wetlands are near flood stage since they wont drain them anymore. One decent rain event and everything floods, and quickly. Aren't we all glad that NPS is here to manage this area?

Empty beaches, ramps set to flood, mosquito populations that are astounding, six pair of plover for 2012 lwoest number since the massive closures began, gee whiz. Explain to me again why sensible resource management isn't used at the Seashore? I just don't get it.

Day in and day out I hear the complaints. "Permits for this, permits for that"; "I'm never coming back"; "this is ridiculous"; "I was going to invest in a house down here, but not now"..etc..

That is our NPS at work. Thanks, Mr Murray. Enjoy your publicly funded pension as we lose all we care for.

Tight Lines,