congressional hearing on a bill introduced in February by U.S. Rep.
Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., is scheduled for Friday, April 27, at 9 a.m.
and should be available live on a House website.
Jones introduced the bill – H.R. 4094 – on Feb. 28 to restore
reasonable motorized and pedestrian access to Cape Hatteras National
The hearing will be before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
A live broadcast of the hearing should be available to the public through the House Natural Resources Committee website. Further information on next week’s hearing can be found here.
“I am very pleased that the National Parks Subcommittee has agreed to
take up this bill,” said Congressman Jones. “This is an urgent
situation. The access restrictions mandated by the National Park
Service’s final rule are significantly impacting the Hatteras Island
economy and are totally unnecessary to protect wildlife. This is
about jobs, it’s about taxpayers’ right to access the recreational
areas they own, and it’s about restoring balance and common sense to
Park Service management.”
H.R. 4094 would overturn a final rule implemented by the National Park
Service in mid-February, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court
approved consent decree. Jones’ bill claims that the rule and the
consent decree excessively restrict human access to the recreational
area. The bill would reinstitute the Park Service’s 2007 Interim
Management Strategy to govern visitor access and species protection in
the seashore. The Interim Strategy was backed up by a 113-page
Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which
found that it would not jeopardize the species of concern, namely
piping plover and sea turtles.
The subcommittee has not yet publicly announced the names of witness
who will give testimony, but that could be available on the committee’s
We know that Jones will testify. The Park Service said in a media
release that its witness will be Bert Frost, associate director for
Natural Resources Stewardship and Science. Also, Warren Judge, chairman
of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, and John Couch, president of
the Outer Banks Preservation Association are expected to testify.
In addition to the hearing on the Jones bill, the subcommittee will
have an oversight hearing on “Access Denied: Turning Away Visitors to
April 26, 2012
LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON:
R. 4094 (W. Jones), To
authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes.
"Preserving Access to Cape
Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act"
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:
Walter B. Jones, R-NC (H.R. 4094)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL (Oversight hearing)
Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL (Oversight hearing)
on HR 4094 and Oversight Hearing
Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Dare County Board of Commissioners
Outer Banks Preservation Association, NC
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation