Misconception- The beach will not close

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post from another source written by me that still applies

Post  Wheat on March 27th 2008, 11:52 am

It's always painful to read comments like some of those above that advocate the loss of access to ORV users at Cape hatteras national Seashore Recreation Area. And yes, that is it's proper name. The Dept. of Interior dropped the "recreation area" part, not Congress. Whats sad is that the extreme majority of persons that wish to ban access do so with no real knowledge of CHNSRA, it's environment or the nature of beach use by those that enjoy the Seashore. Shorebird, your refrence to "the cape" and incessant discussion of wetlands and development establishes you as someone totally unfamilliar with this area and the issues at hand. I live here (Buxton, N.C.), I work here and I fish here. I do so by way of 4x4 vehicle and must as I suffer a 45% permanant partial disability negating any and all thoughts of walking any distance in the sand. So, if I may, a brief tutorial.

We live on an island that at Buxton is roughly thirty miles out to sea vs. the mainland. The Island goes from a few hundred feet to a couple miles wide and back to a thin strip as you travel from one end to another. We have but two options in terms of access to our homes. One by ferry to Ocracoke, the other via Hwy. 12 to the north. Hwy 12 passes through Pea Island before crossing the Bonner Bridge connecting us to Bodie Island and then by way of yet another bridge, the mainland. I mention Pea Island and the Bonner Bridge for several reasons. One being that Pea Island is a National Wildlife refuge that contains dune systems and wetlands. These were created not by nature, but by the CCC in the 1930's. Pea island also happens to be the site of the largest migratory bird slaughter I know of. Recently, USFWS gassed thousands of Canadian Geese because they were overtaxing the man made ecosystem and complaints about goose poop were being brought up by "McMansion" homeowners up in the developed areas of Duck, Corolla and Nags Head..far to the north.The road Ive been told that spoils Pea Island is our one real evacuation route and ironically preserves the wetlands and birds covered by the MBTA. Without road clearings and work to preserve the dunes, the wetlands will be destroyed.
Plovers dont do well there either in spite of no ORV traffic. The same is true of the Bodie Island side of the bridge, but more on that later.

Hatteras Island is a bit different in that a few villiages scattered along about sixty miles of Rt. 12 dot the seashore. These villages are bounded landward by CHNSRA and are extremely limited in development. As with Pea Island, most all of the wetlands and dune systems are man made. Have a look at Google earth..you might learn something. We have the luxury of being surrounded by an extremely active environment that remains unpredictable every day of the year. In terms of wildlife, we have the sea, the sound, and a thin strip of sand that hosts an amazing variety of birds, reptiles and mammals, crustaceans, fish, shell fish and some sea turtles too. And we care for them all.

Im sure that when most folks read about whats going on here and see the term ORV (Off Road Vehicle) they include motocross bikes, ATV's, and dune jumping sand rails and the like, but thats not what happens here. All vehicles on the beach have to be licensed vehicles, driving on the dunes is prohibited and speed limits are in force as well; 25mph but most do much less because of the nature of the beach. This is not even remotely like driving on Daytona Beach. And unlike beaches to the north, no mechanical device is needed to scour the beach of trash in the morning. We, the ORV users, didn't take a week to clean up the styrofoam from the ceiling fans, we got the vast majority of it up in one day. It was a day later that the first volunteer environmentalists showed up to help out. Less than 20. Because less than 100 ORV's occupants had already done the work. I was there and took bags of that stuff off the beach. It was NPS that asked the tackle shops for help and brought bags...and they got it. But then, that's what we normally do. We sit at the point where the Labrador current and Gulf Stream collide therefore we get alot of stuff washed up on our beaches from elsewhere, so we clean it up, by hand, on our time, and at our expense.

As for the birds, what do I say? We're on the EXTREME northern end of the Plover wintering grounds and the EXTREME end of the southern end of their breeding grounds. Plovers breed in areas of frequent overwash. Please come to this Island in a storm and show me where that isn't. Yes isn't. Frequent overwash means chick mortality. That has nothing to do with ORV use. In fact it's the native Ghost Crab that is responsible for the majority of chick mortality regardless of bird species. ORV use has gone down over the years, bird enclosures have been established earlier, have been larger and have been in existance for a greater perion of time and yet bird numbers dont expand. The Black Skimmers and Least Terns that DOW, SELC, N.C. Audubon are complaing about not being in the park nested last year on a newly created dredge spoil island near Hatteras Village within a couple hundred yards of the Park boundry, But since those birds didnt follow the rules and nest within the Park, they dont count. Neither does the largest tern colony on the east coast because it's on top of a certain store at a shopping center well outside of the bounds of the Park. Last time I checked, when wild animals breed where we tell them to, because we wont count their numbers if they dont, it was called a zoo.

The fact is thats it's the ORV users that care for this National Recreation area. Birds have wings and will nest where THEY want. Larger closures for longer periods has resulted in increased vegetation thereby limiting breeding grounds not by ORV but by the sea. It was ORV users that begged for the moving of turtle nests that were in "The Narrows", a section of beach regularly overwashed. The nests werent moved and the turtles drowned. Two of them(nests). They werent in our way, just in a place we knew they wouldn't survive. I challenge anyone to prove that on any "given day of year" you can find 2000 vehicles on the limited amount of beach we have left open to access. I was on the Point today and within the nine or so miles I could see less than twenty vehicles on the beach. Most of what is Plover breeding area was still under water and the entire beach still bore remnants of the almost complete innundation that occured over the weekend.

The attempt to close human access to these beaches is a travesty and an insult to those of us that do so much to care for this amazing place. Our economies will be destroyed all the while predator populations will soar, vegetation will increase, bird populations and suitable nesting areas will decrease.

I could go on but it's late and I have to go to work to a job, a living that some would seek to eliminate here. Because of my handicap, its about the one thing I can do. I can barely do that. But saturday morning, I will venture out on the beach once again to be in a beautiful environment where I have no power to change a thing. I will see Willets, Gulls, Ospreys, Terns, Gannets, Pelicans, Sanderlings, Cormorants, Oystercatchers and cetera. I will be at peace. And I will think of all the children that you would wish to deny this.

No, you dont have a clue, you dont understand and paint us with a broad brush thats entirely based on perception tainted by false data and data that has been excluded.

Take the time to know us before you condem us. We have just as much right to Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness as do you.

Wheat
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To those of you in favor of closing the beaches to ORV, SUV's, 4X4's or whatever else you want to call them

Post  disguste on March 27th 2008, 1:04 am

NOT EVERY PERSON THAT VISITS THE BEACHES THAT ARE ABLE TO WALK. For whatever the reason, be it physical handicapped that you can see, or some one who has serious breathing problems, or maybe they are just tooooo fat-as in extremely overweight-and they need assistance or a wheelchair. I would like to see YOU try to navigate a wheelchair, weather it be an average everyday wheelchair or even a beach wheelchair (which by the way, you would need some one to push you because you wouldn't be able to "push" yourself), carry a cooler so that you don't dehydrate yourself, a bag with snacks, in case you get the munchies, and oh, don't forget the tackle box, your fresh bait. I'm sure you won't need to worry about the rods because you probably have a rod holder mounted on your wheelchair somewhere right? I almost forgot about the bag that has your sunscreen, beach towels, sandals,(oh, nevermind, you can't walk, so you don't need those)
Some people should think about how, what they do, affects others, because, not everyone has the same abilities. I myself, am able, however, my best friend who happens to be my husband, does not have that luxury. AND YES, THE ABILITY TO WALK IS A LUXURY.

disguste
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beach access

Post  gkolp on March 26th 2008, 9:01 pm

I first visited the Outer Banks as a young boy with my family in 1965. Since then I have only missed two or three years. Now my own children who are grown also love the islands and respect both the wildlife and the residents and they love to visit as well. We have had four wheel drive for many years and greatly enjoy our drives on the beach. That said, I will admit that there are some areas that have become very crowded in the summer and it does make for a less enjoyable experience for all of us. Often the stretch between Frisco and Cape Point is so chock a block with vehicles that it's difficult to even see the ocean. Like so many things in our world what started out as a nice thing was discovered by too many and has now become just another crowded mass of humanity. As much as I'd miss driving the beach I guess I'd have to say that I wouldn't be opposed if the Park Service followed the letter of the agreement they made to the people of the island in 1952 and allowed locals only to drive the beach by permit only. My family and I will walk it, and fish it in peace as long as I'm able.

gkolp
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my opinion

Post  shanemas on March 26th 2008, 5:48 pm

I waited 22 years to visit the beaches and the lighthouses of hatteras... I finally made it this last weekend and I must say I had the time of my life... I walked the beach, seen the lighthouses and totally fell in love with those small communities that I visited. I implore you all to speak up for the minority like me that had to wait so long to see the treasures that your island possesses... I loved it there and I have a feeling Ill be back again and again since it felt like home to me... Anyway thank you guys for giving those of us that live inland a place to go and the ability to have a dream come true..
With much love for your community
Shane Mason

shanemas
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pedestrian access

Post  JMU Parr on March 26th 2008, 12:55 pm

This is just the first step in closing the beaches to everyone, forever. Here's a clip on pedestrian access:
Pedestrians may be permitted within a narrow walking and sunbathing corridor extending landward from the mean high tide line, from sunrise to sunset, on the oceanside only. Prohibit recreation at these sites from sundown to sunrise. Pets, kite-flying, frisbee and ball-playing, fireworks, wildlife feeding and trash disposal should be prohibited. This corridor should be narrowed or eliminated over all or part of its length if necessary to prevent disturbance to plovers. The pedestrian corridor should be narrowed or closed to provide a recreation-free buffer zone 50 m wide (or the distance recommended for other avian species using the area, whichever is greatest) around all areas of MOSH, all overwash corridors, and any place that courtship behavior or scrapes are observed. The buffer zones should immediately be widened to 100 m any place that disturbance of plovers by recreation is observed, then to 200 m if disturbance persists. Furthermore, the corridor should be narrowed or closed to provide a recreation-free zone in the ocean backshore at least 10 m wide and running the length of the site, wherever backshore habitat occurs. Once narrowed or closed, the recreation corridor should not be widened or reopened without the approval of the USFWS and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commision (NCWRC) on a case by case basis.
Stress the word "may" in the first sentence.
I also walked to the beach from access parking lots in the past, until my vehicle had its window smashed and we were robbed while enjoying our day at the beach.

JMU Parr
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ana mos?

Post  anglermg on March 26th 2008, 5:32 am

I honestly hope you havent accessed public lands by means of non approved crossover points on the CHNRA. If you have, and are admitting to such occurences, you have allready broken the law. and it sounds to me like you are a person who is just another person who feels it is within their rights to access areas off limits to ORV's and PED's and stop on the side of HWY 12 and walk over to restricted areas and cross dunes just because you are on foot and feel that it is in rights to your own private area to nude sunbathe or whatever.

Just because I'm an ORV enthuisist doesent mean I take the same point of view as you,

I RESPECT MY PRIVLADGE TO BEACH ACCESS cheers

anglermg
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Misconception?

Post  Paul NJ on March 25th 2008, 8:49 pm

We frequently walk to the beach if it's a short distance. But, while not handicapped, we could not handle a walk to Cape Point. We are responsible beach drivers, not drinkers, and careful of people and wildlife.

And for the person who said one can nude sunbathe on the beach, the answer is "not anymore." I know of citations given for doing so ($100 for corrupting public morals, or some such stuff).

According to Audubon, people will be allowed to walk on the beach in the closed-to-vehicles area. Of course, I trust this like I'd trust foam rubber crutches to hold me up if my leg was broken....

George Orwell was right about "1984" - he was just 20 years too early with the date.

By the way, you can contact one of the parties in this specious lawsuit: audubonaction@audubon.org. We have ended our support for them after years of membership; same with Defenders of Wildlife.

Paul NJ
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Re: Misconception- The beach will not close

Post  obx4x4 on March 25th 2008, 5:28 pm

Comparing KDH and Oregon Inlet is silly. A few yards to 100 yards to miles, come on. Ruts nature takes care of those. I happen to be handicapped; I have responsibly driven the beaches for 20 years. Enjoying the drive has led to my purchasing 3 different homes from Corolla to Kitty Hawk.

If birds can not get out of the way of vehicles then that bird is sick. I all my years of enjoying the OBX I have only come across a handful like this. When able I moved them near the dunes or had a passenger do it for me.

Heavy fines for reckless driving woould be fine by me...

peace to all

obx4x4
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I hate the ruts!

Post  Closures on March 25th 2008, 1:34 pm

Why not have a paid permit like Nags Head does in the winter time?

I feel that the original rules to allow beach driving (back in the Nixon days) were meant for the working fisherman. In the Nixon era there were VERY few 4x4 vehicles so the damages done by beach driving were minimal.

Now, EVERYONE has a 4x4 and it is truely messing up our beaches, not only for wildlife but asthetically as well. So many tourists, youngsters, and non-beach driving fools feel they have some sort of right to go cruising (mostly at high speeds) along our coastline. I stopped going to Oregon Inlet a long time ago because over half the people there only went there b/c they could park their SUVs in the sand with their coolers and get drunk, not fish and oh yeah have fun doing donuts. These folks DO NOT respect the beaches.

But I do know many folks who do know how to drive on the beach, respect our beaches and also enjoy the recreational activities that our beaches offer whether fishing, surfing or just sun-bathing. So why not a compromise? Develop a paid permit program, similar to what Nags Head offers for winter driving. If you are a fisherman or tourist that would like the PRIVLAGE to drive on our beaches, then you shouldn't have a problem with a monetary donation towards their protection and stabilization once you and your vehicle ruts are gone. The NH permit is inexpensive (maybe $24-30 bucks). Allow the National Parks system to collect this permit fee to go towards; 4x4 driving education, beach restoration (not nourishment which I also oppose), dune plantings, education on wildlife, wildlife protection, etc. Of course make sure these funds are used correctly and for their purpose, but have a permit fee and perhaps even seasonal driving so the beaches have a chance to normalize every once and awhile....

This small permit fee would still allow folks to drive on the beach, but would deter those who just want to "joy" ride and not respect our beaches.

You can look at the difference from Kill Devil Hills beaches to NH beaches in the winter time when KDH allows beach driving with no permit and NH requires a permit - the NH beaches are in WAY better shape with less ruts.

Anyway - I'm not completely against beach driving, but I think the original idea behind the rules is outdated and with so many people driving on the beach these days.......it acutally TAKES AWAY from the beauty that is the OBX and not adds to it.

Plus, there is NOTHING wrong with carrying your beach supplies from your car in a parking lot to the beach. I am originally from LBI and ALWAYS carried our shit to the beach. I live in KDH (for 12 years now) and I ALWAYS carry my stuff to the beach.

my two cents

Closures
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Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beach Access

Post  Ray Hurl on March 24th 2008, 10:22 pm

Hi all, Laughing
I am a beach lover as much as the rest of you and one of the best places on earth to Surf Fish is the is the wonderful beaches of North Carolina.

I Live just out side of Atlantic City NJ and I fish there , although it does not cost me anything to fish in Atlantic City, I do enjoy the fishing on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches which by the way does cost me quite a bit of money at least twice a year.

Now that I am retired I will be going there more often then before which equals more money for your economy.

You have some of the nicest people in our country living on the Islands and they rely heavily on the infusion of dollars the tourist/fishermen spend there each year.

I hope that you do not make a mistake and chase away many of the outsiders that provide the financial security of your beautiful islands just because of a ruling by a Judge that wants to punish all of us due to the unfortunate act of one. Rolling Eyes

RayHurley@ComCast.net

Ray Hurl
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Lazy...

Post  mark9117 on March 24th 2008, 1:05 pm

Perhaps you could be a little more lazy? How do you get your fishing supplies, surfboards, etc to the beach?? Did you really just ask that question?

I, for one, think that this ban may not be such a bad thing in the near term. It's people like this who have invaded the place with their big, shiny SUV's and sense of entitlement. They travel there, for the most part, because of the beach access. Take away the beach access, the crowds thin, the fools that you don't want around anymore start to dissapate.

I haven't taken a 4x4 to the beach in years, and I've still had as much, if not more fun. Amazingly enough, I've still managed to carry my surfboard and other beach supplies over the dunes and across the beach...all by myself.

mark9117
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Sheeezzzze!!!

Post  kk4hoos on March 24th 2008, 12:40 pm

Face it, these folks who have never driven on the beach have no clue as to how much fun we have or how much we take care of the Beachs. Now about those birds, I have been trying to run over them for years but they keep flying away. Go figure? Rolling Eyes Natural preditors are far more of a threat than I could ever be. Some one needs to get a life and leave mine alone!

kk4hoos
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Re: Misconception- The beach will not close

Post  anna mos on March 24th 2008, 11:29 am

you don't need your suv to enjoy the beach. if you believe that, then you are the idiot.
but keep driving it (preferably w/ the hammer down), your president & his arab business partners selling us oil, love you for it.

there are as many natives who don't want you, your money or your gas-guzzling suv on their island as there are transplanted businessmen who do.

FYI: i've hiked many a mile carrying my surfboard & backpack to empty beaches.

anna mos
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I'm Sorry???

Post  anglermg on March 24th 2008, 5:06 am

Misconception, do you walk to work everyday, what if you had to walk 500 miles to visit with family and friends? Would you still go if you had to carry all the things you needed with you on your trip? Would you carry all these things by horse and carriage (BTW their considered ORV's too)? I think not ! And after reaching your destination how would you, your family and friends be able to be able to access the areas you use for your group's recreational purposes?

would you,

(A) Turn around and go back home and just forget about all the time and money you spent to get there ?
(B) Walk an additional 200 miles to the north or south so you can enjoy your time together ?
(C) Or just go ahead and break LAW the and access off limit areas anyway no matter what the consequences ?


BTW if you visit any national park within the UNITED STATES of AMERICA and cross / walk on dunes, walk off designated trails or disobey park rules such as nude sunbathing YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW !

as for the thousands of visitors to CHNRA each year most ORV users obey the rules clearly displayed on all the access ramps to our favorate areas. Those that access the beach without an ORV more often than not disobey off limit areas and go willingly without regard to signage clearly posting sea turtle, bird nesting and off limit areas thinking it is within their rights to be there just because they are foot.

The enviromentalist extremists don't really care how you disturb migratory wildlife,by ORV or by foot, because you and I are'nt college trained wildlife professionals like they are.

With out the thousands of ORV enviormentalists , how would the few profesional enviromentalists do their job, By FOOT, or on horseback ?

Think about it, how many ultra rich UAE (arabs) are watching this situation just licking their chops, Waiting to buy into a piece of the good ole USA........................................ SO THINK ABOUT IT, WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU REALLY ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anglermg
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Lame response

Post  burghfan on March 23rd 2008, 8:35 pm

And how do you propose we take all of the fishing supplies, surfboards, etc to the water? I'm sorry, but what an idiotic comment.

burghfan
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Misconception- The beach will not close

Post  Steve Si on March 23rd 2008, 10:53 am

The lawsuit is for vehicles driving on the beach not access to the beach. You will still be able to surf, fish, nude sunbath, bonfires, etc. no matter what happens.

Steve Si
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Re: Misconception- The beach will not close

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