Sixteen members of the beach access caucus, the members of the negotiated rulemaking committee who advocate for off-road vehicle access to the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, have handed Superintendent Mike Murray their blueprint for an ORV rule.
The 77-page document is entitled “Addendum to the Final Report of the Proceedings of the Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee for Off-Road Vehicle Management at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.” It is intended to be included in a final report on the process that will eventually be issued by the National Park Service.
Many members of the beach access caucus contributed to the addendum, which was pulled together by Carla Boucher, an attorney who represented United Four Wheel Drive Associations on the committee.
This is an impressive document, the result of much hard work by the members of the beach access groups.
It addresses legal, resource protection, science and research, and user conflict issues and offers a viable plan for Park Service officials to pursue as they continue to devise an ORV rule.
What I like about the plan is that it addresses the “long-established” cultural values of ORV use on the seashore, while still providing for resource protection.
The proposal represents the people in the increasingly contentious issue of ORV access to the seashore.
The environmental groups that filed a lawsuit in 2007 over resource protection on the seashore are aggressively representing the interests of birds and turtles.
U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle, who signed a consent decree last year that some of the parties felt they had been forced into, has done a terrific job of representing the interests of the birds and the turtles.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, which threw the National Park Service’s Interim Protected Species Management Plan under the bus in legislative hearings to get rid of the consent decree last year, has done its job in protecting birds and turtles – though environmental groups may disagree.