Beach Access Issues
March 3, 2008


Read a transcript of Judge Terrence Boyle’s scheduling conference on ORV issues

The Outer Banks message boards have been busy with chatter about the a motion filed on Feb. 20 in the lawsuit brought by Defenders of Wildlife and North Carolina Audubon that challenges the National Park Service’s interim plan to protect threatened and vulnerable species of shorebirds that nest on the seashore.  The groups contend that the plan does not go far enough to protect the birds, which include the threatened piping plovers, as well as black skimmers, American oystercatchers, and gull-billed and common terns.

On Feb. 20, the environmental groups, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, filed a request for a preliminary injunction that asks Boyle to replace the interim plan with more restrictive measures until after the lawsuit is settled.  Specifically, the plaintiffs are asking Boyle to stop ORV use year-round at the most environmentally sensitive areas of the seashore – Bodie Island spit, Cape Point and part of the South Beach, Hatteras Inlet, and the north and south points of Ocracoke.  These are also the areas that are most popular for recreation, especially fishing.

Dare and Hyde counties and the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance have intervened in the lawsuit.

Boyle met with attorneys for both sides in his Raleigh courtroom on Friday, Feb. 22, for a scheduling conference on the October lawsuit that had been set before the request for the preliminary injunction. However, the request for the preliminary injunction was discussed.

Three groups of lawyers were present.  The plaintiffs were represented by attorneys for the environmental organizations and SELC.  The defendants, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were represented by attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice.  In addition, attorneys from Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth City represented the intervenors in the lawsuit – Dare and Hyde counties and the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA). 

We found the transcript  on the Red Drum Tackle Shop forum (http://reddrumtackle.com), posted by OBX Blondie,  and interesting exchanges about the legal activity can also be found on other boards, including the Outer Banks Connection (http://obxconnection.com) on the local issues board.

Click below to read the transcript of what the judge had to say in the scheduling conference.
Status Conference Transcript


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