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.
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.”
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.