| July 28, 2008
Another violation of a protected area increases buffer at Ramp 27
The National Park Service staff discovered another violation of a
resource protection area on Saturday, July 26, at the least tern colony
north of Ramp 27.
The Park Service says the violation likely occurred between the time of
high tide Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday when the
violation was discovered.
The ranger who investigated the incident observed two separate vehicle
tracks that had entered the closure, which was established to protect
least tern nests and chicks, and reported that access was most likely
gained by driving between the last Carsonite post and the tide
line. The vehicles traveled approximately one tenth of a mile
into the closure, where the occupants got out of the vehicles and built
a beach fire. There were multiple foot prints around the fire
area and at least two sets of human tracks that went from the fire
approximately 200 feet up to the dune line.
The April 30, 2008 consent decree related to shorebird and sea turtle
protection at Cape Hatteras National Seashore requires the National
Park Service to automatically expand a resource protection area by 50
meters for the first confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses
wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants and 100 meters for a
On May 26, there was a deliberate violation in this area as a result of
an intentional entry violation (campfire/violation notice issue), and
that buffer was modified on May 27. Park staff documented the
most recent violation on July 27 and expanded the closure by 100
meters (328 feet) in accordance with the consent decree.
As a reminder, temporary resource protection areas are established to
protect beach nesting bird nests, unfledged chicks, and sea turtle
nests until the breeding cycle has been completed. Posted areas
are closed to vehicles, pedestrians, and pets. In addition, under
the consent decree beach driving is prohibited from 10 p.m. until 6
a.m. from May 1 until Nov. 15, to increase the chances of successful
sea turtle nesting. Violation of park regulations, including
entering a resource protection closure, are federal criminal
violations, each subject to up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months
For more information, call 252-473-2111 ext. 148.