I've lurked on this board on occasion inthe past. Recently, I've been asked by a member here to post on what I believe is an important issue to all who ever had or want to fish or relax on the beach at Cape Hatteras . Maybe I'm "preaching to the choir." Maybe not.
The Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) and the National Audubon Society have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the National Park Service in US District Court in North Carolina. This motion demands that ORV's be prohibited from accessing many of the prime fishing areas in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The DOW and Audubob Society calim the NPS has failed to delop a management plan for ORV use and a plan to protect "critical nesting areas " for shore birds (yes, the piper plover - again). If the requested injunction is issued, the following areas would be closed to all recreation:
Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, South Beach, Hatteras Inlet, Ocracoke Inlet, North Ocracoke.
Areas would be closed to all beach driving year-round until a new critical species managment plan and ORV use plan is approved. This could last as long as 3 years.
An interesting twist: DOW and Audubon Society, along with 30 other fishing, recreational, tourism, State and County governments and civic groups are involved in a two-pronged process to develop an ORV management and an Evirnomnmental Impact plan. DOW and Audubon Society are also involed in the negotiated regulations committee (regneg) designed to work out the issues of a beach driving plan.
While regneg is a long and contentious process, DOW and Audubon have exercised a nuclear option: ask a judge to prohibit all beach driving while negotiating with the very groups they are working with to develop a ORV management plan! That surely is a great way to persuade the other side to see their point (heavy sarcasm intended).
I do hope these links are appropriate for this board:
is a link to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
is a link to the transcript of the Status COnference held February 22 befre Judge Terrence Boyle.
If you were to read page 9, lines 6-11 of the Conference transcript, you will see that the judged ripped into the attorney representing Hyde and Dare counties. Judge Boyle does not appear sympathetic to the negative economic impact a beach access ban would have on the residents of those counties that include CHNS.
Arguements on he injunction will be heard late next week. The judge will announce his decision April 3. IMHO, I'm looking at a glass that is half empty.
Now is the time to contact an organization that will represent your right to beach access via an ORV in a National park. A park that is supported by all taxpayers. Fight the special interests that wants you, the person who pays for the park, to stay out of the park.
These organizations are on your side. Use your favorite search engine to find the websites. Contact and support one.
CHAPA - Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance
OBPA - Outer Banks Preservation Association
NCBBA - North Carolina Beach Buggy Association
UMS - United Mobile Sportsfishermen
CHAC - Cape Hatteras Anglers Club
RFA- Recreational Fishing Alliance
ASA- American Sportfishing Association
United Four WHeel Drive Associations