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 folks..so lets get at it!