July 8, 2014
Burr offers amendment to Sportsmen's
Act to ensure beach access
By IRENE NOLAN
Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, today offered an amendment to S 2363, the
Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014, that would help ensure public and
ORV access to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Burr amendment is identical to S 486, which passed unanimously through
the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013.
amendment would modify the National Park Service's ORV plan and final
rule for the seashore, which became effective in February 2012. It
would set rules and parameters for the Park Service to follow when it
considers limiting public access to beaches, including off-road vehicle
Under the amendment, the Park Service must review and
modify wildlife buffers to ensure that are of the shortest duration,
cover the smallest area necessary to protect resources, and designate
pedestrian and vehicle corridors around resource closures.
also instructs NPS to undertake a public process to consider making
slight changes to night driving restrictions, extending seasonal ORV
routes in the spring and fall, and modifying the size and location of
Finally, it orders the NPS to construct new vehicle access points as expeditiously as possible.
restrictions on beach access have hurt North Carolina and local
businesses along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for years – it has
done damage to our local communities and our local economy,” Burr said
in a news release. “We must ensure that North Carolinians and
tourists from around the country have access to North Carolina’s scenic
treasures, and the Sportsmen’s bill offers the perfect opportunity to
address this pressing issue once and for all.
"Over a year
ago, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources reached a
compromise that was a critical step forward in the effort to allow
people to have access to our beaches while at the same time addressing
any potential environmental concerns. It is my hope that we can
take up this amendment and allow the Senate a chance to finally vote on
The House version of S 486, introduced by Congressman
Walter Jones, R-N.C., was included in HR 2954, the Public Access and
Lands Improvement Act. That bill was passed by the House of
Representatives in a bipartisan vote earlier this year.
groups, including the American Sportfishing Association and
Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, are supporters of S 486.
The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act was introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in May. It has 45 Co-Sponsors.
As of yesterday, there were 13 proposed amendments to the legislation.
you have a chance call and thank Senator Hagan (202-224-6342) for her
leadership on S 2363," Warren Judge, chairman of the Dare County Board
of Commissioners said in an e-mail today.
"We need you
to call Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid,
202-224-2158, and show your support for the amendment
and ask the Majority Leader to allow the amendment to move
forward. Please pass this on to all you have contact
with. Remember this is a bipartisan Sportsmen's Act, so
supporters are a group much greater than us."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For information on The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 and to read the text of the bill, go to http://www.senate.gov/ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:s.02363:
To read a IFP story on S 486 from June 18, 2013 and the text of the bill as amended by the Senate Committee, go to http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/06.18.2013-SenateCommitteePassesSubstituteVersionOfBillToOverturnORVPlan.html