This is of great importance because its effects will greatly impact the economy of Hatteras Island and the experience of visitors from all over the nation. This Recreational Seashore was set aside and dedicated “for the benefit and enjoyment of the American People”. With the new “rule” in place, an enormous loss of income will occur on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands as a result of closures and new restrictions. These new restrictions will have the effect of limiting commerce within the National Park Service fostered, tourism based, economies now extant within the eight villages surrounded by the Seashore.
Restore Access To The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area
We, the undersigned, do faithfully petition the Congress for immediate relief in matters regarding the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, North Carolina.
We humbly ask also for relief from the actions undertaken by Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Jonathan Jarvis, Director, National Park Service, David Hallac, Superintendant, Cape Hatteras National Seashore recreational Area and others.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore was authorized by an act of congress in 1937. Within this legislation is contained a mandate to the Park Service that states specifically “which shall be developed for such uses as needed” relevant to recreational activities. Amended in 1940, it became known as Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area and was set aside and dedicated “for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people”.
On February 15th of 2012 the National Park Service began the implementation of a new management directive for the Seashore under the auspices of an Off Road Vehicle management plan. This “plan”, will in truth, do nothing more than discourage the visitation upon which the economies of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, depend.
Whereas, the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior have violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Administrative Procedures Act as well as the Organic Act.
And, they readily admit that nearly 100% of the financial impact will be felt by the villages surrounded by the Seashore,
And, that the newly instituted fee based access system applies only to one user group (ORV users), requiring those wishing to take their family vehicles on the beach to pay a fee to support the infrastructure for pedestrian only visitors,
And, that NPS has determined vehicle carrying capacity limits which will prevent visitors from accessing the Seashore,
And, that NPS chooses to eliminate all access to the most popular areas of the Seashore, notably the inlets, Oregon, Hatteras and Ocracoke without any sound scientific basis for doing so,
And, that NPS records indicate that better than 97% of all harm to wildlife has been the result of storms and predation, not human interaction,
And, that the prohibition on night driving on our beaches is purely supposition and not based upon sound, peer reviewed science,
And that the NPS and DOI have killed thousands of animals on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands in the name of species protection and or overcrowding as was the case when USFWS eliminated, in a gas chamber, literally thousands of geese at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge,
And, that NPS has designated Vehicle Free Areas, for pedestrian use only, which almost perfectly overlap areas known to be closed throughout the nesting season for these same non-endangered, non-threatened bird species thereby effectively eliminating any access within these areas,
It is for these reasons and others that we humbly beseech the Member of the House and Senate to provide relief from these restrictions.
We ask that NPS be firmly reminded that their primary mission at this Seashore is to develop this area for recreational use.
We ask that closures be limited to the absolute minimum so as to satisfy the original intent of congress.
We ask that NPS be required to prove real harm or “injury in fact” rather than provide speculation and that sound, legally peer reviewed science be used in such decisions.
With measures such as these in place, the people of this nation will once again be able to enjoy their Seashore without fear of being turned away and the economies of Hatteras and Ocracoke may eventually recover. As things stand now, over sixty businesses have failed since NPS began its assault on our Seashore and over 500 homes have gone into foreclosure. A rather staggering statistic considering that between the two islands there are only about 5000 residents.