| May 19, 2008
Second act of vandalism results in another expansion of buffer
second vandalism incident to a signed resource protection area was
discovered by Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff on Friday, May
16. Park staff found more than 1,500 feet of fence protecting an
American oystercatcher nest had been damaged. This closure area
is located on the ocean side of Hatteras Island, about .8 of a mile
north of Buxton in a pedestrian use only zone.
The park ranger called to investigate the vandalism found that 20 fence
posts had been broken, five signs pulled out of the sand, and three
Carsonite closure signs are missing. The ranger documented one
set of bare footprints going from post to post on the beach and then
into the dune area. The footprints entered the closure area.
However, the nest appeared undisturbed. More than 1,300 feet of
fencing was damaged on the west side of the dune and about 274 feet
combined on the north and south sides on the open beach.
A recent consent decree related to shorebird and sea turtle protection
at Cape Hatteras National Seashore requires the National Park Service
to automatically expand the closure area by 50 meters if a confirmed
deliberate act disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing,
nests, or plants. Park staff documented the site and expanded the
closure 50 meters (164 feet) to the south as ordered in the Consent
Decree. This closure expansion is located in a pedestrian only
area and will not affect ORV users.
Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are
federal criminal violations, each subject to up to a $5,000 fine and up
to six months imprisonment.
For more information, call 252-473-2111 ext. 148.