May 13, 2013


UPDATE: House committee to vote on
bill that would overturn ORV plan

By IRENE NOLAN



The full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources will vote on 16 bills, including H.R. 819 to overturn the Park Service’s new off-road vehicle plan, on Wednesday, May 15, at 10 a.m.

H.R. 819, the Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act, was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., on Feb. 26.

The legislation would overturn both the National Park Service’s final rule for off-road vehicles on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and a court-approved consent decree that settled a lawsuit filed against the Park Service by environmental groups. It would return management of seashore resources to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy and Environmental Assessment, issued by the Park Service on June 13, 2007.

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation received testimony on H.R. 819 in a March hearing that included several parks and public lands bills.

In Wednesday’s “markup” session, the full Natural Resources Committee will vote on whether to send the legislation to the House floor for a vote.

The committee has 47 members, including 26 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

A similar bill last year was favorably voted out of committee and sent to the House floor, where it passed, largely along party lines.

A companion bill has also been introduced again in the Senate.  It had a subcommittee hearing last month.  Last year’s bill died in committee.

The Outer Banks Preservation Association and the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association are urging members to contact representatives on the committee to urge that they support H.R. 819.

Information on the committee members and contacting them is available on the Natural Resources Committee’s website, 
http://naturalresources.house.gov/live/.

The markup session will be streamed live from the committee’s website. Go to http://naturalresources.house.gov/live/.



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