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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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Al Adam (The Sound of Sile…): BB, SELC is actually small fry in the enviri-extortion business. With 50 attornies in the firm they a…
Denny in Dayton (The Sound of Sile…): Here this will make your head hurt. This is the official “NEPA flow chart”. www.epa.gov/reg3…
AnonVisitor (The Sound of Sile…): I trust NCDOT but I’m concerned with the current lack of transparency. We all deserve to know what is…
Denny in Dayton (The Sound of Sile…): Obviously the problem is a legal one, it always is. At the heart of the legal problem is NEPA, the …
Ginny (The Sound of Sile…): I wasn’t criticizing the efforts on the Bonner Bridge but with respect to the temporary bridge: 1. …
Jim (The Sound of Sile…): Who told them to stand down? If it was a legal requirement, its a matter of public record. What t…

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Pity the poor seabeach amaranth….It doesn’t get any respect

Friday 28 January 2011 at 10:39 am

In the years of discussion of off-road vehicle rulemaking for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, have you ever heard anyone utter the words, “seabeach amaranth?” 

Have you heard anyone talk about seabeach amaranth at a public meeting, public forum, public comment session, or negotiated rulemaking committee meeting?

Have you seen anyone railing against protections for seabeach amaranth on discussion boards or blogs or in letters to the editor of a publication?

Chances are very good that you have not. And there is also a chance you never heard of seabeach amaranth, don’t know what it is, and don’t know why we should care about it.

As far as I can tell, not even the Southern Environmental Law Center has had a word to say about seabeach amaranth on its website or in its media releases.

Seabeach amaranth just doesn’t get any respect, despite the fact it is one of three federally protected species that the Park Service’s Final Environmental Impact Statement aims to protect from harm – by people and, especially, of course, from ORVs.

The other two – piping plovers and sea turtles – get pages and pages and pages in the FEIS.  Seabeach amaranth is almost a footnote.

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SELC says Pea Island is endangered, but is it really?

Thursday 20 January 2011 at 5:01 pm

Earlier this week, The Southern Environmental Law Center issued its list of the Top Ten Most Endangered Places for 2011.

Number 4 on the list is the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on the northern end of Hatteras Island.  

It is one of three sites in North Carolina that are on the list.  The other two are the Cape Fear River Basin, which SELC is being threatened by a proposed cement plant, and Snowbird Mountains in the Nantahala National Forest, which SELC says is being threatened by a road project and tunnel construction through the mountain.

“SELC is using the power of the law to defend hundreds of imperiled areas, to ensure clean air and water, and to help chart a new energy future for the Southeast,” SELC said in a media release. “We have targeted 10 special places that are facing immediate, potentially irreversible threats today.”

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Winter at the beach is…well … COLD….WITH SLIDE SHOW

Thursday 13 January 2011 at 5:49 pm

Winter at the beach has always been my favorite time of the year on Hatteras and Ocracoke.

Visitors are few and far between.  Traffic on the highway is almost non-existent.  The few stores and restaurants still open are never crowded.  You know almost everyone you encounter while doing errands in the villages.  And everyone has time to stop and chat.

The beach is as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer – just in a different way.  It’s pretty deserted most days, except for a few walkers, beachcombers, and fishermen. Plenty of shells and other treasures wash up in winter storms, and dolphin frolic close to shore. You can even see a whale offshore at times or a seal resting on the beach.

The sky is often that deep, clear “Carolina” blue, and the sunsets in winter are the best of the year.

And the nice thing is that the winter temperatures are quite nice on the islands – if the wind isn’t blowing too hard.

But not this year. And not last year either.

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