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Where have you been, Secretary Salazar?

Friday 08 June 2012 at 3:47 pm.

Earlier this month, outdoors reporter Eric Burnley wrote a column for the Cape Gazette, which covers the Delaware Capes Region, on the good Memorial Day weekend fishing,

His column was mostly about weekend catches, but at the end of the column, there was a report that caught the eye of some folks who are advocates of more reasonable beach access at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

It seems that on May 29, Burnley attended the launch of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative.

“The Delaware Bayshore Initiative,” he wrote, “is a program that brings together local, state and federal governments along with private citizens and organizations such as Delaware Wildlands, the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited in an effort not just to protect the delicate habitat, but to provide access to the area for fishermen, hunters and nonconsumptive users like bird watchers and kayakers.”

He got to ask the dignitaries who attended some questions.

He asked Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar about the restriction of access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Biscayne Bay in Florida and how that fit in with plans to open up more lands and waters for recreational use.

“His reply indicated he was not familiar with either of these areas, but protecting habitat had to be balanced with public access,” Burnley wrote.


The Secretary of the Interior, the boss of National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, is not familiar with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the access issues here?

I found this a rather astounding pronouncement by Salazar.  

Now, I don’t believe for a minute that the Secretary has been sitting in his office reading the voluminous Cape Hatteras National Seashore Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

But maybe an assistant sent him a memo or some sort of briefing?

I doubt he has plowed through the various lawsuits that have been filed again him, his department, and the Park Service over the plan.

But maybe someone sent him a memo about them?

He probably doesn’t read all of the letters that have come to him about access at the seashore, but maybe he noticed the February, 2011 letter to him from three members of the North Carolina Congressional delegation.  

A joint letter from U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and U.S. Sens. Richard Burr, a Republican, and Kay Hagan, a Democrat, asked him to ensure that a final ORV plan “would maximize public access to extent permissible under the law.”  The three page letter was also addressed to Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Budget and Management.

Earlier this spring, Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio wrote a letter to him about access at Biscayne National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore – just before the U.S. House of Representative Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Federal Lands had an oversight hearing on access to parks.

I was so surprised by what Secretary Salazar had to say that I called Eric Burnley to make sure he reported his encounter correctly.

Burnley is an experienced fishing writer and angler who is very familiar with the seashore and its access problems.

And, yes, he says he got it right.

“It’s just not important to him,” Burnley said.

In fact, Burnley thinks the issue isn’t very important outside of Cape Hatteras.  He’s right that the issue has not gotten much national coverage.

He is sympathetic to the problems, but said, “You are just on the losing end of a bad situation.”

So, I guess we are left to our own interpretation of Salazar’s remarks.

Is he lying?  Stretching the truth a little so he doesn’t have to address any specifics?
Is he really not “familiar” with the situation at Cape Hatteras?  And what does “familiar” mean to him?

I tried an Internet search to see if I could find any Salazar quotes on Cape Hatteras but could not.

Maybe some of you readers can.

And what do you think he meant when he said he was not familiar with Cape Hatteras National Seashore?


This week, the Island Free Press began linking to the National Weather Service’s Rip Currents Hazards page.

This rip current forecast is a relatively new product of the National Weather Service, and for our region, it is produced by the office in Newport, N.C., and issued daily.

It has a great graphic with the rip current threat for the North Carolina Coast highlighted in various colors for low, moderate, and high.

It also has tips for identifying rip currents, safety tips, and tells you exactly what to do if you are caught in a rip.

Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves.

Many people worry about such things as shark attacks when they come to the beach, but they sometimes don’t pay attention to the biggest killer of swimmers here at the seashore – drowning.  And most of the drowning deaths here involve rip currents.

Click on the yellow tab at the top of the Front page on the right side before you go to the beach.

Learn about rip currents and how to protect yourself and your family and friends.

For more information about rip currents and a personal story of one family’s heartbreak over a drowning on Hatteras and their response, go to http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/06.20.2008OceanSafety.html


Cape Hatteras has placed third in the World Fishing Network’s 2012 contest to name the Ultimate Beach Town.

First place winner was Olcott Beach, N.Y., and second place went to Waddington, N.Y.

For placing third, WFN will make a $2,500 community donation.

Read more about the contest and what folks said about Cape Hatteras at http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/uft/winners.php


chuck allison

So your saying here that the right hand of the government does not know what the left hand of the government is doing? Well, that explains it all then! here i was thinking the the NPS was just plain stupid and nasty…..

chuck allison - 08-06-’12 15:58
Sam Bricker

I’m surprised that this is a revelation to anyone over the age of 5. First, all high governmental posts are politically appointed, meaning they are appointed by some politician somewhere else in the government. Second, being politically appointments often, but not always, means that they don’t know a rat’s posterior about they agency they’re working in or running. Third, political appointees typically steer clear of politically sensitive matters. Fourthly, the government’s individual fingers don’t know what they neighboring fingers are doing, so expecting one hand to know what the other hand is doing is completely unreasonable. Put this all together and you have one fracked up situation which equals the ORV situation on the CHNS as administered by the NPS of the DOI. No surprise there; certainly not to me.

Sam Bricker - 08-06-’12 17:54

Sickening… I can’t believe he is not aware of this, just not possible. Shows beyond a doubt how much of a low life the DOI/NPS really are. I will abuse every form of communication to Mr Salazar to make him fimilar…

Anon - 08-06-’12 17:54
Hawk Hawkins

Is Salazar preparing to retire,also?

Hawk Hawkins - 08-06-’12 18:01
pat avon

doi.gov/news/index.cfm check out the beach report… its a new release about how much money, beaches take in…interseting

pat avon - 08-06-’12 19:24

Mr Salazar is performing a perfect deflection of the question. He not only did not answer the question about Cape Hatteras but he also gave himeself an “out” should it come back again as another question “ I did not know” allows him to say no matter what it was not his fault.

Alexy - 09-06-’12 02:27
Al Adam

Salazar’s wife was a headhunter for eco lawyers. If he knows anything about our plight I assure you that he is firmly attached to the other side of access.

If he doesn’t know of our issues he probably went to the same briefings as Holder —- who’s knows nothing of gun walking —- or Geitner, who doesn’t know how to pay his own taxes while burning ours.

There is zero accountability in this administration —- remember that in November!! We can’t do worse.

Al Adam - 09-06-’12 06:21

no one is accountable for anything anymore

bbc - 09-06-’12 07:01
Mike Berry

No accountability.
No transparency.
No equity.
No science.
No intellectual honesty.
At best Mr.Salazar is also “clueless”.

Another great edition Irene, keep them coming.

Mike Berry - 09-06-’12 08:14

With the millions of taxpayer dollars spent here on all the smoke and mirrors its inconceivable that he is unaware of Cape Hatteras.

“The embattled Eisenhower Memorial in Washington has drawn the interest of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who will be reviewing the designs by architect Frank Gehry. The request could result in yet another delay for the project, which has already been plagued by a number of disagreements”.

Is this a top level decision? NO! Is access to America’s first National Seashore? YES

Contact your Congressm and Senators …have the support the bills in Congress to restore beach access at Cape Hatteras.

hatrasfevr - 09-06-’12 09:53


I’m sure a lot of you have heard of the problems Tomestone is having. Considering the bills in Congress and the lawsuit I find it hard to believe that Mr. Salazar Does not know of HI rec area issues.

ZuniKev - 09-06-’12 13:10
Buxton sailor

I think it would be a pretty big stretch to even hope that Mr. Salazar would be on the side of beach access and ORV on Hatteras! We need to remember, his boss is on the side of and financed in part by the far left and ecoterrorists who would prefer NO access at all!

Buxton sailor - 09-06-’12 15:25
Jim Boyd

Thanks, Zuni.
I think that article about Tombstone displays an even worse situation than ours here on the CHNSRA.

Here the USNPS and USF&WS, is declaring that their irrational buffers around plovers, etc, are more important that the native people’s economic livelihood.

In Tombstone, the USFS is declaring that maintaining quiet around a Spotted Owl nest is more important that human beings’ access to water! Incredible, but true!

The US Forest Service (under Vilsack at the Department of Agriculture) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the US National Park Service (under Salazar at the Department of Interior) are in lock-step. Why is that? Because a liberal president appoints a liberal cabinet and this is the type of “change we can believe in” … not!

Don’t forget this when you vote in November, no matter how much Obama spends on TV ads between now and then. We need a new, more conservative, president and a new, more conservative senate in November.

If liberals are allowed to continue to run our government for another 4 years, then it is within reason that Tombstone (“the town to tough to die”) and Hatteras/Ocracoke (been here since 1587) may both die, one literally and the other economically.

Vote like your life depends on it in November … because it (our your children’s) does.

Jim Boyd - 09-06-’12 15:27
Salvo Jimmy

Good articlwe about NC12


Salvo Jimmy - 10-06-’12 06:44
John Dumbleton

Dear Irene,

This is what I have been saying about no one knows of your problems with the new ORV rules. Government is a joke and will not help you solve your issues. Fox News would have a field day with this article. Would you please contact them and explain to them what the government is doing to your area. You have to get the word out to the rest of the people in the good old USA and maybe that would help you. If you scream loud enough someone will listen if not just to shut this up and make it go away. Thanks for your time.

John Dumbleton - 10-06-’12 08:29
Denny in Dayton

Here is an article from Feb that has some Salazar and Jarvis quotes that will make you choke about National Parks and economic actively near them including this gem from Salazar:

“The Department of the Interior doesn’t just oversee beautiful and historic places,” he said. “We help drive tourism and recreation that powers small businesses and creates jobs.”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!


Interestingly in searching to see what Mr. Salazar’s recent activities have been, it seems he has been very hands on in dealing with the Martin Luther King memorial and the Eisenhower memorial, I think his staff could have handled those, but Salazar met with both families. It seems one of Ikes granddaughters is an Obama supporter so she got some face time.

Denny in Dayton - 10-06-’12 09:32
Denny in Dayton

OK here is an interesting find, From the OFFICIAL WHITEHOUSE web site, meeting records, uh smoking gun?


It would seem we had representation at one of the meetings, the first one, then only the Axis powers got to meet. Look at the January meeting, the material they went over was the flawed economic study. Pretty much proves what we suspected, the fix was in!

Denny in Dayton - 10-06-’12 10:07

Mr. Salazar should be sent a sizable qty of the Bureaucrat most prize commodity…
the White Banker Box.

He should be getting a head start on packing his “I love me Wall” early

Jack - 10-06-’12 12:23
Keith H

The DOI and NPS under Secretary Salazar seem to have a number of issues in maintaining parks and historical artifacts entrusted to their care.
In addition to those already cited, here is some discussion of the US Navy destroyer Cassin Young entrusted to their care and operation. It appears that maintenance required to keep it afloat and open are low priorities. See http://defensetech.org/2011/08/29/the-fa..
Maybe the answer to “where was he?” lies in attendance at something more “green” than the mission to preserve and make available to the public?

Keith H (URL) - 10-06-’12 12:48
Hawk Hawkins

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR ! Dam,Salvo!That IS a telling article!It certainly put into perspective how to softly kill an island…

Hawk Hawkins - 10-06-’12 16:59

His WIFE is the Lead Lawyer for the WWF, Wilderness WildLife Federation/Fund. Not only is he a LIAR but a BOLD FACED LIAR..


JAM - 10-06-’12 18:21
Steve C.

Clearly Salazar knows the entire story and is lying through his teeth.

Apparently he feels the the charter is not legally binding so he can do with it as he pleases.

As a former user of CHNRA it is clear to me that his mission is to shut down all beach access. I no longer come down 10 times a year to fish because of the closures and jack booted thugs he commands.


Steve C. - 10-06-’12 19:59
Salvo Jimmy


If they manage to stop dredging of the Hatteras – Ocracoke channel, the BACK DOOR will also be SHUT.

Salvo Jimmy - 11-06-’12 07:17
Hawk Hawkins

It truly makes terrible sense.Shut down the beaches,restrict access,decrease the population,isolate the islands…back to nature…done!Eventually,the villages will be like Portsmouth Island,curiosities of a strange time gone by.Mission accomplished! (I’m still moving to Hatt.Goin’ down with the ship!)

Hawk Hawkins - 11-06-’12 08:10
tony hess

Nothing is going to happen until we bring NATIONAL attention to the situation a CHNS. Most people off island don’t even know there is a problem with beach access. The ads that are currently running on Weatherbug about vacationing on the Outer Banks make no mention of any beach closures. So folks come down expecting a great vacation only to find, oops…….. most of the beaches are closed. I’m sure that leaves a really bad taste in their mouths about ever vacationing on Hatteras again. The problem needs to go public, off island. Why can’t we get some sort coverage from the national media??? The eco nazis and the government have media specialists working for them why not us Unless we get the word out, this will stay a local problem and I think we all know where it will end up. Remember the squeeky wheel gets the oil…………….

tony hess - 11-06-’12 08:44
Bill Price

All the Joking that a NC Law intends to stop Sea Level from rising or accelerating is Real Funny. 
If SLR is or will accelerate rapidly, it looks like the General Assembly just want’s actual proof, instead of using an Ouija Board to predict acceleration of Sea Level Rise.  Scientists said 18” SLR/ 100 y has occurred, and 1 foot SLR ≈ 2 Miles inundation, but visual comparison with 1850’s US Coast Surveys don’t show the predicted inundation.  The scientists and an educational institution have refused to answer questions, declined to do the studies, and refused to participate in an Open Public Forum.  IF comparative study showing 4 miles inundation of NC Tidelands (as predicted by the scientists) has been done,  it should be easy to post the pages for all to see.  It must be difficult for the General Assembly make important public policy in a responsible manner, if the scientists ignore the questions? 
Bill Price PKS

Bill Price - 11-06-’12 11:09

I think everyone above is over thinking. Salazar gets paid off just like Mike, the Judge, and Raul. You just can’t prove it so you lose.

James - 11-06-’12 14:34

I couldn’t disagree more with Bill Price about the real dangers of sea level rise and the absurdity of legislators wanting to put their heads in the sand about it. The whole notion of “legislating” science is absurd.

And, before you conclude that all “lefties” are opposed to reasonable beach access, please think again. That is simply not true either. There has to be a balance between environmental and social concerns, and I certainly don’t think anyone on the other side has found it either. Want oil rigs off the shore? Want to accelerate the very sea level rise that you want to legislate against, then vote Republican.

Freve - 13-06-’12 13:22

i’m voting demlipulican in the upcoming election. they are the only party that appear to want a fair balance.

bbc - 13-06-’12 18:20

Man’s effect on global warming by reasonable scientific estimates is less than 1%. I agree with most. As
Freve said, “there has to be a balance”. 776 acres for one nest?

ZuniKev - 13-06-’12 20:25
Salvo Jimmy

Be sure to check out Irene’s story here on HR4094.


Contact your Rep and ask how they will vote, reminding them a FOR vote could get them a FOR vote from you in Nov 2012.

Salvo Jimmy - 14-06-’12 08:49
Captain Moonlight

The problem with the liberal Fed’s is they believe you are to stupid to manage anything. Therefore your rights as citizens need to be severely controlled. The problem with most conservative Fed’s is they believe “activist” is a dirty word. The Tea Party people are showing the way. Wake up folks, if you really don’t like the liberals running your “bloated” state and federal government. Become a conservative activist. Keep informed and vote! When conservatives come out to the poles in number, they win.

Captain Moonlight - 15-06-’12 04:53
Salvo Jimmy


A hearing has been scheduled before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. in room SD-366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. S. 2372, a bill to authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

Salvo Jimmy - 15-06-’12 06:48

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