July 20, 2015

Seashore officials plan meetings on changes to ORV plan

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is holding public scoping meetings to consider changes to the seashore’s Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) special regulation as it relates to morning opening of beaches, extending the length of fall and spring seasonal ORV routes, and modifying the size and location of vehicle free areas. 

Public scoping will help inform the development of alternatives that will be analyzed in an Environmental Assessment (EA). 

The public meetings are required by legislation passed by Congress last December as part of the Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2015. The legislation is intended to provide more access to the seashore for pedestrians and ORVs, especially during the nesting season for shorebirds and sea turtles.

The five public meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.  Ocracoke School, 1 Schoolhouse Road,
  • Ocracoke Island.
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 6 - 8 p.m.  McKimmon Conference & Training Center, 1101 Gorman Street, NC State University Campus, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Monday, Aug. 10, 6 - 8 p.m. –Cape Hatteras Secondary School, 48576 Hwy 12, Buxton.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 6 - 8:00 p.m. – Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Embassy Suites Hampton Inn, 1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA  23666

Additional information on the public scoping and EA process will be provided in advance of the public meetings. 

Also as part of the legislation, the Park Service was required to examine and make modifications wildlife buffers during nesting, which it did with an EA issued last month.

It was also required to fast track certain additions to the park infrastructure, including new ramps and an interdunal road, to allow for more public access. The seashore announced a revised plan for new infrastructure in the spring.

The Park Service must report back to Congress on how it has responded to the legislation by Dec. 19.

More information on the legislation and its requirements can be found on the seashore’s webpage at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/parkmgmt/2015ndaact.htm.

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