This is no joke, we need your help. Pass this on to anyone you know who has an interest in keeping fishing access open to the public.
I realize not all of you are in to the ORV drive-on beach/surf fishing, but you are all seriously involved in fishing in one form or another. Drive-on beach access to fish the surf for migratory game species is an almost extinct tradition that was once a way of life all along the entire Atlantic coast, and is about to be killed forever. The only remaining access point north of Cape Cod is the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island Massachusetts, and in the current plan it will go away forever if concerned members of the fishing community do not act immediately.
Why should you care? Because your access to the waters you want to fish is under attack on all fronts, and every step like this chisels away at the sport. The attack in relentless, whether by the super rich who just don't like to look out and see you out there spoiling their private views of the nature they own, or by the overzealous liberal conservatives who would just as soon ban all fishing as a cruel blood sport and who think it is their right to force you to stop eating anything but your vegetables.
All forms of access are under attack. Many prime walk-on fishing access points in the Northeast have already been shut down in the past 2-3 seasons. Access restricted to "residents only" is becoming the rule rather than the exception. Access to public waters by boat is becoming increasingly difficult as land is bought through private sale and closed to the public. This seemingly small step may not affect you directly, but it is part of a bigger attack that will catch you eventually if not stopped. Liberal influenced public education has neglected to inform our youth that the basis for the foundation of the U.S. National Parks system, the first of its kind in the history of the world, was all because Theodore Roosevelt had the presence of mind to create a program that would put and keep access to wild game of all types open to the common man as a public resource, reversing the trend all the world over that fishing and hunting was a sport only for the enjoyment of the land-endowed wealthy and Royalty.
The good public servants of the Parker River and Thacher Islands National Wildlife Refuge have started their long-term Comprehensive Conservation Planning (CCP), and will soon decide based on public input how they will manage Refuge use from this year forward. Their primary focus is on providing opportunities for bird-watching and hiking, and not for traditional surf fishing. For those of you who haven't experienced it, just let me say that while I have nothing personal against my fine feathered friends or those who enjoy watching them, I have had many bad exchanges with birdwatchers and other nature nuts who apparently don't like to see fisherman out and about on the shores.
Take five minutes and take a stand. What actually happens will depend on PUBLIC FEEDBACK. Help out your fishing brothers and put your input on the public record.
Fill out the survey information using the "Planning Newsletter and Issues Workbook" form at the link below. If you are not going to the RISAA or MSBA shows this month then you can return the completed workbook by U.S Postal Service (snail mail) using the address on the form. The MBBA (Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association) will have copies of this booklet at their booth at both the upcomming RISAA and MSBA Shows. You can stop by and get them there or print them yourselves. They are also available at Surfland B & T. If you wish you can fill them out and drop them off at the MBBA show booth and Nancy Brown will gladly make sure they get hand-delivered to the Refuge.
For more info on how this is being pitched to the general public, you can read the propaganda at:
Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge CCP - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Please remember to fill in the comment fields that your interest is in drive-on beach access to surf fish. You will note that there are plenty of boxes to check if you are intersted in hiking or birdwatching, but in many cases none at all for fishing and no mention whatsoever of drive-on access.To preserve our access you will need to fill in the following:
Question 2: Check "Other (please specify)" and add comment that you want "ORV drive-on access to surf fish".
Question 4: Write-in that you "most value the freedom to drive onto the beach to fish the surf"
Question 5: Write-in that you consider "the most important issue facing the Parker RIver National Wildlife Refuge is the loss or any other restriction of my freedom to drive onto the beach to fish the surf"
Under the "Fishing opportunities" row, Circle "1" for does not meet your needs at all, and circle "A" for very important.
Under the "Other services" row, write-in "ORV drive-on fishing access", then Circle "1" for does not meet your needs at all, and circle "A" for very important.
Question 13: Check "Yes" and write-in "ORV drive-on fishing access"
Question 16: Write-in "that fishing in general, and ORV drive-on fishing access in specific is much too restricted under the current system and should be increased and improved for the future"