Beach Access and Park Issues
May 26, 2012


Ramp 27 closes to ORVs on the eve of holiday weekend

By IRENE NOLAN



The National Park Service closed Ramp 27 between Salvo and Avon on Friday, May 25, on the eve of the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend because of shorebird breeding activity in the pre-nesting area just north of Ramp 27.

“Ramp 27 was closed to ORVs because of American oystercatcher breeding activity in the pre-nesting area,” Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Mike Murray said in an e-mail to Jim Keene of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association.

“While the timing of a resource closure before a holiday weekend is regrettable,” Murray told Keene, “we have indicated for weeks in the Beach Access Summary that the lower beach access at the pre-nesting would remain open until breeding activity is documented. And now breeding activity has been documented.

“The resource would have, in all likelihood, not suffered if you had said to the resource personnel that you would delay closing until 5 or 6 p.m. on Monday,” Keene responded.
“Again, it is the seemingly spiteful application of closures that has turned the public to a position of distrust and dislike for the mere presence of NPS personnel. This was not the case a scant few years ago.”

The Ramp 27 parking area, boardwalk, and one-tenth of a mile of beach remain open to pedestrian access.

The Ramp 27 closure brings the number of miles on Hatteras Island open to ORVs down to barely 8 miles.  Another 2.1 miles are open on Bodie Island, with 7.3 open to ORVs on Ocracoke, according to the May 24 Beach Access Summary.

On the 41 miles of seashore on Hatteras Island, about 7.8 miles are open to ORVs, 18.1 open to pedestrians, and 9.8 miles are closed to all for resource protection.

Last year, just before the Memorial Day weekend, 15.2 miles were open to ORVs and pedestrians, 17.6 to pedestrians only, 7.6 miles was closed for resource protection and 2.4 miles was open for “limited” access.

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