Access and Park Issues
Park Service releases annual reports for protected species on the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore 2009 annual reports for protected
species and a report on the status of off-road vehicle management plan
and negotiated rulemaking were released last week and are available to
the public on the Park Planning (PEPC) Web site under the Interim
Protected Species Management Strategy project.
2009 reports posted are:
Plover annual report
- Sea Turtle
Amaranth annual report
- Status of
Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan & Negotiated Rulemaking with
Vehicle Law Enforcement Management Actions and Activities
are some of the highlights of the reports:
wanted to know more about the violations in certain categories –
for instance how many of the resource protection area violations were
by ORVs and how many by pedestrians. The issue here is that the way the
report and charts were presented implied that all violations were
related to ORVs. Actually, many, if not most, of the resource
protection area violations were by pedestrians. But Semans
others were told that the Park Service could not provide breakdowns.
plovers. Nine pairs produced six nests that hatched
in 2009. The nests produced 22 chicks. Sixteen were lost and 6
fledged. Both the hatch rate and fledging rate were 67
percent. That’s up from 64 percent last year, and the same
turtles. There were 104 confirmed sea turtle nests on
the seashore in 2009, down from a record high of 112 in 2008. There
were 101 false crawls produced by turtles that came ashore, but for
whatever reason did not nest.
waterbirds. Least tern nests doubled from the 2008
number – from 232 in 2008 to 577 in 2009. The fledging doubled
from the 2007 number -- from 85 to 174. The number of common
black skimmer nests increased from 2008 but no chicks were fledged.
oystercatchers. There were 23 pairs of oystercatchers
identified on the seashore in 2009, the same number as 2008.
birds produced 31 nests this year, compared to 32 in 2008. Fifteen
nests hatched in 2009, compared to 13 in 2008. However, only 13 chicks
fledged, four fewer than last year.
amaranth. For the unintiated, seabeach amaranth is
a plant that was federally listed as threatened in 1993.
Apparently, it’s no longer found on the seashore. Here is
what the 2009 report said, “Seabeach amaranth populations have
fluctuated greatly since surveys began in 1985. In the last 10 years,
numbers were the highest in 2002 with 93 plants. More recently numbers
have declined with only one plant found in 2004 and two plants found in
2005. No plants have been found since 2006 and the plant is currently
thought to possibly be extirpated from CAHA.”
rulemaking update. Nothing new here.
Vehicle Law Enforcement Management Actions and
Activities. This is the first time this report has been part
the seashore’s annual reports. And the interesting thing
about this report is that the Park Service took it off the Web site to
“clarify” it after Outer Banks Sentinel editor Sandy Semans
– and apparently others -- raised questions about the reporting
officials issued this media release on Monday afternoon, Feb. 8.
Mike Murray announced today a clarification of the law enforcement
statistics contained in the 2009 Off-Road Vehicle Law Enforcement
Management Actions and Activities report that was released on February
of the Court’s and stakeholders’ interest in the
effectiveness of law enforcement activities at the Seashore, National
Park Service (NPS) law enforcement staff compiled a report that
summarizes law enforcement activities for 2009. The charts
tables on pages 6-10 of the report provide the total numbers of
violator contacts for all law enforcement activities throughout the
Seashore, and not just for violations committed by off-road vehicle
(ORV) users. The law enforcement staff does not keep separate
statistics for violations by user group. For example, on page
of the report, there were a total of 98 “Entering Resource
Closure” violator contacts in 2009; however, the number does not
differentiate between the number of violations committed by ORV users
is the first year that the National Park Service (NPS) has provided an
annual law enforcement summary to the Court, along with reports
required by the Consent Decree.
appreciate the feedback we received that the scope of the law
enforcement statistics may be unclear,” said Superintendent
Murray. “We will add a clarification to the report posted on the
NPS PEPC website.”
report was removed from the Web site on Monday afternoon, presumably to
clarify it, and was still not on the site late in the day.
you read the reports, remember that the only bird federally listed is
the piping plover – listed as threatened. The others
– colonial waterbirds and oystercatcher – are listed only
as species of special concern by the state of North Carolina.
remember when you compare numbers that the seashore was operating under
the Interim Protected Species Management Plan in 2006 and
The consent decree was effective May 1, 2008. The past year,
2009, was the first that the park was managed for a full year under the
terms of the consent decree.
see all of the reports, go to: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=358&projectId=13331&documentID=31872