The Battle Over a North Carolina Beach Continues

The Battle Over a North Carolina Beach Continues

On Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a revolutionary management plan is finally putting embattled sea turtles and birds on near-equal footing with ORV drivers. But powerful interests are working hard to undo it.

By Ted Williams/Photography by Emiliano Granado
Published: September-October 2012
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Ted Williams

Ted Williams is freelance writer.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

Primitive Wilderness

Mike: In answer to your first question national parks became wildlife preserves in 1916 when the National Park Service was mandated by law (its Organic Act) to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and WILD LIFE therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them UNIMPAIRED for the enjoyment of future generations.” Why do you imagine that Audubon’s argument is to designate national parks as “primitive wilderness”? We didn’t designate the Cape Hatteras Seashore as primarily “primitive wilderness.” Congress did in 1937 when it enacted The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Enabling Legislation which provides that "except for certain portions of the area, deemed to be especially adaptable for recreational uses…the area shall be permanently reserved as a PRIMITIVE WILDERNESS and no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions now prevailing in this area."

Ladies and Gentlemen of the

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audubon !
It is my pleasure to tell you the truth, it is at your pleasure to recieve or deny the truth.
I, my son and 26 other father and sons have enjoyed and perserved our God Given right to explore, fish, break bread and spend time with our sons from the time they were five years of age to now 25 at the Hatteras Sea shore. Part of this trip was to yes enjoy the outer banks, to drive on the beach...to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and of course to encage in God's creation and demonstrate to our children that it is right to take of our wildlife (fishing) but to only catch what is legal and what we intend to feed upon. These lessons are portrayed well in an area with thousands of others to witness being good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe. I have witness so many hundres and hundreds of great examples from outerbanks fishermen...so many examples of caring for the widlife...they really enforce one another and assist in protecting what an organization truly cannot protect. So we advance the issues that are important to what I think an enviornmentalist wants, maybe the gap is the extremist ....and if so let's don't destroy in order to counter actions most likely taken by a few. And yes I also include you under the catagory of destroying something.
I close with this , we are going down again this 2nd. week end in November....please join us and stay with us for four days and three nights.....send one group father and son, we welcome you only for the purpose of enjoying each others comradery as well as each being a witness to the point I am making. Your point will also be well listened.
My phone number is 252.908.7285 we will provide the food and friendship. Hope to hear from you soon.

I think your magazine will finish the trip with a great story worth publishing...

Deny What?

Not sure what you’ve written that you think we might “deny” unless you are trying to imply that God had a hand in the Park Service’s misfeasance that we put an end to in 2008. If so, you should understand that He didn’t “give” anyone the right to drive over wildlife and destroy wildlife habitat. In fact, four federal statutes specifically forbid it. I probably have witnessed just as many examples of “good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe” as you have. In fact, I reported that fact in the piece.

There is no proof of ORVs

There is no proof of ORVs running over wildlife or ruining habitat at CHNSRA. Your statement is a lie. The only thing Audubon did in 2008 was get NPS in trouble for not having a properly registered ORV management plan. Your organization and SELC jumped at the chance to sue the NPS.

Deny What?

Not sure what you’ve written that you think we might “deny” unless you are trying to imply that God had a hand in the Park Service’s misfeasance that we put an end to in 2008. If so, you should understand that He didn’t “give” anyone the right to drive over wildlife and destroy wildlife habitat. In fact, four federal statutes specifically forbid it. I probably have witnessed just as many examples of “good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe” as you have. In fact, I reported that fact in the piece.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audubon !
It is my pleasure to tell you the truth, it is at your pleasure to recieve or deny the truth.
I, my son and 26 other father and sons have enjoyed and perserved our God Given right to explore, fish, break bread and spend time with our sons from the time they were five years of age to now 25 at the Hatteras Sea shore. Part of this trip was to yes enjoy the outer banks, to drive on the beach...to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and of course to encage in God's creation and demonstrate to our children that it is right to take of our wildlife (fishing) but to only catch what is legal and what we intend to feed upon. These lessons are portrayed well in an area with thousands of others to witness being good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe. I have witness so many hundres and hundreds of great examples from outerbanks fishermen...so many examples of caring for the widlife...they really enforce one another and assist in protecting what an organization truly cannot protect. So we advance the issues that are important to what I think an enviornmentalist wants, maybe the gap is the extremist ....and if so let's don't destroy in order to counter actions most likely taken by a few. And yes I also include you under the catagory of destroying something.
I close with this , we are going down again this 2nd. week end in November....please join us and stay with us for four days and three nights.....send one group father and son, we welcome you only for the purpose of enjoying each others comradery as well as each being a witness to the point I am making. Your point will also be well listened.
My phone number is 252.908.7285 we will provide the food and friendship. Hope to hear from you soon.

I think your magazine will finish the trip with a great story worth publishing...

ORV's Hatteras Outer Banks

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audubon !
It is my pleasure to tell you the truth, it is at your pleasure to recieve or deny the truth.
I, my son and 26 other father and sons have enjoyed and perserved our God Given right to explore, fish, break bread and spend time with our sons from the time they were five years of age to now 25 at the Hatteras Sea shore. Part of this trip was to yes enjoy the outer banks, to drive on the beach...to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and of course to encage in God's creation and demonstrate to our children that it is right to take of our wildlife (fishing) but to only catch what is legal and what we intend to feed upon. These lessons are portrayed well in an area with thousands of others to witness being good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe. I have witness so many hundres and hundreds of great examples from outerbanks fishermen...so many examples of caring for the widlife...they really enforce one another and assist in protecting what an organization truly cannot protect. So we advance the issues that are important to what I think an enviornmentalist wants, maybe the gap is the extremist ....and if so let's don't destroy in order to counter actions most likely taken by a few. And yes I also include you under the catagory of destroying something.
I close with this , we are going down again this 2nd. week end in November....please join us and stay with us for four days and three nights.....send one group father and son, we welcome you only for the purpose of enjoying each others comradery as well as each being a witness to the point I am making. Your point will also be well listened.
My phone number is 252.908.7285 we will provide the food and friendship. Hope to hear from you soon.

I think your magazine will finish the trip with a great story worth publishing...

ORV's Hatteras Outer Banks

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audubon !
It is my pleasure to tell you the truth, it is at your pleasure to recieve or deny the truth.
I, my son and 26 other father and sons have enjoyed and perserved our God Given right to explore, fish, break bread and spend time with our sons from the time they were five years of age to now 25 at the Hatteras Sea shore. Part of this trip was to yes enjoy the outer banks, to drive on the beach...to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and of course to encage in God's creation and demonstrate to our children that it is right to take of our wildlife (fishing) but to only catch what is legal and what we intend to feed upon. These lessons are portrayed well in an area with thousands of others to witness being good stewards of the outdoors and good examples for our kids to observe. I have witness so many hundres and hundreds of great examples from outerbanks fishermen...so many examples of caring for the widlife...they really enforce one another and assist in protecting what an organization truly cannot protect. So we advance the issues that are important to what I think an enviornmentalist wants, maybe the gap is the extremist ....and if so let's don't destroy in order to counter actions most likely taken by a few. And yes I also include you under the catagory of destroying something.
I close with this , we are going down again this 2nd. week end in November....please join us and stay with us for four days and three nights.....send one group father and son, we welcome you only for the purpose of enjoying each others comradery as well as each being a witness to the point I am making. Your point will also be well listened.
My phone number is 252.908.7285 we will provide the food and friendship. Hope to hear from you soon.

I think your magazine will finish the trip with a great story worth publishing...

So?

Not sure what the point is here. Audubon’s mission is to protect critical habitat, and it has a moral obligation to use its equity (in this case non-critical habitat) to maximize its ability to carry out that mission. As for oil drilling, why do newspaper hacks who falsely state that ORV regs required by four federal laws are strictly about piping plovers imagine that Audubon is against drilling? We have never opposed drilling. We just want drilling done in the right way and the right places. Rainey is probably the right place; the OCS off Florida is definitely the wrong place.

NPS Also To Blame

Ted thank you for your article. You went easy on  NPS management.

 Eliminating   ORV use in CHNS was never  considered by the NPS as a starting point for compromise. It should have been . Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is virtually  a continuation of the same beach as the northern part of Hatteras Island in CHNS. It does not allow vehicles on the beach and is a model of responsible recreational use there.

The Park's last superintendent, Mike Murray, failed with the Negotiated Rule Making Committee. He was in charge of the meetings but  never acted like he was.  He  did everything he could to provide as much ORV access  with the most lenient regulations he could from the moment he became superintendent of CHNS to his input in the final plan. It was obvious that he was either sympathetic or afraid of the ORV  groups. Of course that stands to reason because Mike Murray was hand  picked to be the superintendent in the director of National Parks office while the OBPA board of directors and county officials were present to shake his hand.

A few of the more glaring  problems with the final plan: 

 On VFAs where past fishing tournaments were held previous to the final rule will be  allowed to drive on those beaches in fishing tournaments. This reduces the amount of  VFAs . Northern village pedestrian access users will have to intermittently share the beach with ORVs.  All the fishing tournaments have some component where they raise  money through tournament fees, raffles etc where money is directed  to a fund to promote and  litigate for more ORV access and less resource protection.  What do you think the other side would say if Audubon staged a bird identification contest in CHNS , with entrance fees ,raffles etc and then donated money to litigate for better protection for shore birds in the Park?

ORV density is set at 1 vehicle for every 20 feet of linear shoreline. This is an incredibly lenient carrying capacity and far exceeds the historical context of traditional beach driving before the Park  was established.

The beach in front the National Park's Billy Mitchell and and Oregon Inlet campgrounds are a maze of deep criss crossing tire ruts where campers  are forced to share that limited space in an active ORV route that extends from dune to ocean.

How  ORV use impacts  primitive wilderness was never discussed or considered when ORV routes were designated.  Consequently the majority or the area of CHNS that might have been considered primitive wilderness was  designated as an ORV route.

How ORV routes affect views, smells and sounds of non ORV users were not considered other than the  noise from vehicle engines.

There are serious concerns for visitor safety on some village beaches that up to now will have not had allowed vehicles on them for 30 plus years.

Conservation groups should be the ones up in arms because the final rule is not up to NPS standards.

Disgusted in Va Beach 

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