OBX Connection Logo
Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
OBX Connection Home > OBX Connection Forum > Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?

Page 1
Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 6:13 PM




First, read over the NPS Annual Reports concerning species management:

www.parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=358&projectID=13331&documentID=45494

Done? Good. Now, look at the NPS closure maps:

www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/upload/02-10-12-ORV-Route-Map-FINAL-8-5x11.pdf

The first myth is that there are beaches open to ORV traffic. There are NONE permanently open. Any of the so called open beaches can be closed by the NPS at any time under the auspices of "Resource Protection".

But first, let me regress.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Recreational Area was established by CONGRESS under LAW. The name was changed ADMINISTRATIVELY by NPS to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

www.nps.gov/caha/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm

Under the law, as passed by CONGRESS, the primary emphasis in a Recreational Area is recreation, with resource protection as a secondary consideration. Did Congress change the LAW? Nope, NPS just changed the name administratively and applied a whole new set of regulations. Regulations, mind you, not Law. Congress passes laws, then the Bureaucrats fill up the Code of Federal Regulations with their interpretation of the law.

Back to the map and species management report.

NPS has closed the beach to ORV's from Ramp 34 to Ramp 32.5 Yes I know there is no Ramp 32.5, but NPS says they will build one. Has NEPA been done? Have funds been designated? HA! Maybe we should start a pool to bet on when this will happen. (I'll take 2018, but then, I've always been an optimist).

Now lets look at the beach from Ramp 34 to notional Ramp 32.5 to Ramp 30.

Ramp 34-32.5. Closed to ORV traffic. Nice wide stable beach. NPS report doesn't list any plovers as having fledged between 30-32.5-34.

Ramp 32.5-30. Narrower beach, softer sand, subject to erosion, littered with chunks of asphalt from the original roadbed of Rt. 12 which was eroded away by storm action. Those ORV's are chewing up the beach! Close it!

It's interesting to look at aerial photos of the Banks, and all the "zig-zags" the road takes. The prime example is the S Curves north of Rodanthe, but they're everywhere. Originally, when Rt. 12 was paved in the 1950's, these roads were relatively straight, except for major Island bends. Look especially at the site on Pea Island where Hurricane Irene cut the new inlet. The maintenance building was undermined even before the Hurricane. This isn't a new problem. But then again, Pea Island is a National Wildlife Refuge and no ORV's allowed. I don't have any problems with that, or the designation, because that's what Congress said, but turtle watcher friends of mine tell me that there are often more tire tracks on the beach there than there on CHNSRA because of the turtle patrols, volunteers standing watch over the nests waiting for hatchlings, etc. But since those folks "care" as opposed to ORV users, it obviously doesn't affect the beaches or the birds.

"Seasonally Open" beaches in front of Avon? When I drove from Ramp 38 to Ramp 34 a couple of months ago, there was nearly a dune breach about a half mile south of the Pier. There was a 6' sand "cliff" within 15' of the dunes, with the waves lapping at the bottom. Luckily, the tide was low enough that I could pass on the ocean side. Wouldn't have risked my truck above it. Better close the beach again.

South Beach? A beautiful beach for visitors to drive on. Wide, and hard as concrete, water generally warmer than north of the Point, with gentle wave action; an ideal place for the kiddies to swim. According to the NPS report, there were ZERO, ZIP, NEGITS, NONE, NADA plovers fledged along that stretch of beach in 2011. Good thing they closed it to protect the ones who probably won't fledge there next year. Of course, we can drive the new Interdunal Road, if it's ever built, and walk over.

Oops, careless of me. I was just checking my references, and the latest "official" map doesn't show an Interdunal Road, unlike the two week old "official" map that had it, along with Ramp 47.5 and Ramp 32.5 But a lot can change in two weeks....

www.islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/01.26.2012-MapsOfORVRoutesAndAreas.pdf

Closure at Hatteras Inlet? Oh yeah! We should be ashamed of what we've done! Of course every Hurricane, Noreaster, gentle breeze, boat wake, etc. that comes along chops another 100' off the Island, and all the nests along with it. Compare the photo of 1998 with 2012. We've come a long way. And of course the NPS statistics show zero chicks fledged along that stretch of beach too......

(To Be Continued)





OBX Connection Sponsored Links



RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 6:17 PM




Continued:

And why all this nonsense about pedestrian access? Pedestrians don't bother plovers, except when they bother plovers. They closed many of the beaches to pedestrian access last year. Remember the folks wading in the surf to get to the Point to fish? And where are you going to park to access the pedestrian areas? It's still open to interpretation whether you can even park on the shoulder of the road without an ORV Vehicle Permit. (I hope no one has a flat tire...) NPS says they're going to build more parking areas.....

Cape Hatteras was originally a State Park, and the State gave it to the Feds to manage as a recreational area for their citizens. FAIL. I want my State Park back.

Does anyone else see a pattern developing here?

NONE of the beaches are unconditionally open, and as soon as we become complacent, they're history. Remember the old joke about the difference between ignorance and apathy? (I don't know and I don't care) Better educate yourself and get involved.

Sounds like the Gun Control folks. We only want to take away certain aspects of your 2nd Amendment rights. Be reasonable.....

Well, I ain't reasonable about either the 2nd Amendment or Beach Access.

Rob





RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: BaitWaster - (Send PM)
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Location:
Total Posts: 587

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 7:25 PM




Anyone that has spent any time in a vehicle on the beach fishing Hatteras ( 37 year for me) will quickly understand the recreational angler and their families have been singularly hosed with this plan.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: Crotalus - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Location:
Total Posts: 3642

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 7:28 PM




The VFAs are not (just) about breeding species protections.
They're set aside to allow for ORV-free pedestrian access and - as I was informed this morning because of my comments VFAs weren't needed in the winter - ORV-free areas for migratory and wintering species.

So your references to what has or hasn't fledged in one area or another is a red herring.

According to the map there's more than a mile of South Beach east of Ramp 49 - the part that's hard packed and conducive to the activities you mentioned above - open to ORVs. The issues there will be sea turtle nests.

And resource protection and allowance for recreation are dual mandates and "no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions now prevailing in this area . . ."

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: susanobx - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Location:
Total Posts: 129

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 7:29 PM




Wow Rob, blows me away! Can't wait for crotch's reply!
You have to drive to a VFA to walk to one! F'd up!




RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: susanobx - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Location:
Total Posts: 129

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 7:35 PM




Dang, he replied before I could edit my post!


RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 7:41 PM




Dang, he replied before I could edit mt post!



Yeah, but he caught me for hacking the NPS website and altering their reports...... Confused smiley

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: BaitWaster - (Send PM)
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Location:
Total Posts: 587

Date Posted: 2/20/2012 8:34 PM




The VFAs are not (just) about breeding species protections.
They're set aside to allow for ORV-free pedestrian access and - as I was informed this morning because of my comments VFAs weren't needed in the winter - ORV-free areas for migratory and wintering species.

So your references to what has or hasn't fledged in one area or another is a red herring.

According to the map there's more than a mile of South Beach east of Ramp 49 - the part that's hard packed and conducive to the activities you mentioned above - open to ORVs. The issues there will be sea turtle nests.

And resource protection and allowance for recreation are dual mandates and "no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions now prevailing in this area . . ."



"Except for certain portions of the area, deemed to be especially adaptable for recreational uses, particularly swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, and other recreational activities of similar nature, which shall be developed for such uses as needed,"

Historically the inlets and Hook have been not been developed but have been especially popular and accessed for a variety of recreational activities by by vehicles due to remoteness and logistics.

If you use or have to use a vehicle off road to access Vehicle-Free Areas, isn't this convoluted? Should you be made to walk the distance?

That mile of beach east of 49 is flat as a pancake, sucks for fishing & surfing and, in SW blow, on a high tide pushed the water up close to the dune. Tossing out a moldy crumb at best.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: wackydog - (Send PM)
Member Since: 6/9/2005
Location: Kitty Hawk
Total Posts: 448

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 7:37 AM




Hmm. I'm trying to think of any time that the "powers that be" closed, restricted, or otherwise "took" a public area... and then later changed it's mind, without a lot of expensive lawyers to challenge the "interpretation" of the law.

As for "reserving" closures for migratory birds on their way south...and protecting the beach for them... hogwash. We see a lot of these on the creek in Kitty Hawk - and they're co-existing just fine with kayakers, our wild geezer parties (!), and plenty of boat traffic. When they get bored here - they go elsewhere - because believe it or not, they don't prefer domesticated, protected environments unless they're trained to accept this... and THAT is precisely what alters their behavior to survive in the wild. Bears - garbage cans; case in point.

The environmentalist side (as opposed to Naturalist) apparently thinks wildlife are as stupid and helpless, as they assume we are. They paid lobbyists and lawyers first, to validate the "crisis need" of protecting what was getting along just fine... and to essentially "take" what had been completely open to the public - a public, who policed themselves and stewarded the wildlife themselves - just fine. Of course, some animals die - from all kinds of causes - but the idea that humankind is their biggest problem is outdated, naive, and completely unsophisticated.

The case simply needs to be legally, exhaustively made that there was no existing, awful threat or crisis to justify such a draconian restriction... and that the people of OBX had trusted their government to protect THEIR rights... which is one the main functions of government BY & OF THE PEOPLE - not the plovers. From what I can tell, there was simply no justification for this kind of extreme over-reaction to the mission/mandate to support and care for naturalized wildlife - and no prevention or hindrance to same - by continuing to allow people to use the beach, as they did long before these "wise guys" came along to tell them "how to do it".

Just my two cents...

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: FinallyHereToStay - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/26/2007
Location: Frisco
Total Posts: 3223

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 8:00 AM




Well said wackydog. Thumbs up
We have many areas "reserved" for migratory birds along our shore, Pea and Portsmouth Islands just to name a few.
We have a strugling economy on Hatteras based on our beach which we are slowly being eliminated from. We are becoming the endangered species. We're being told to adapt. We can coexhist with the wildlife. Unfortunately special interests groups, many who only know us as a spot on the map, are controling us. It's morally wrong, as is killing hundreds of animals for the sake of a few birds.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: wackydog - (Send PM)
Member Since: 6/9/2005
Location: Kitty Hawk
Total Posts: 448

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 9:19 AM




Thanks - I've been reading, watching, listening since we moved here 2 yrs ago. We joined Beach Buggy, OBPA, etc once we knew we really were moving. Haven't felt I had any place opening my mouth much, till lately. I'm kinda tired of being a hermit and I'm looking for a way to help, to do something, not just flap my lips. So I'm kinda wandering my way into this looking for a place where I might be able shoulder some of the work.

In one of my former lives, I worked in PR - graphics. The firm I worked for did the print, radio, etc PR for the folks who stopped Disney from building in Haymarket, VA. (I was a very minor part of the process!) I've been around... environmental issues since the 70's... and I gotta say that there was never any need for RULES or REGS or laws even, to force anyone to clean up their industrial or agricultural act. It was a matter of conscience and business image... and in general companies and people all did the "right" thing.

Now, what I object to - regardless of topic - is one group claiming they "know best" and then forcing that idea on everyone else. So my dander's up on this issue of beach access, among other things.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: kejoga - (Send PM)
Member Since: 9/15/2010
Location: Stoneville, NC
Total Posts: 39

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 9:34 AM




Thanks - I've been reading, watching, listening since we moved here 2 yrs ago. We joined Beach Buggy, OBPA, etc once we knew we really were moving. Haven't felt I had any place opening my mouth much, till lately. I'm kinda tired of being a hermit and I'm looking for a way to help, to do something, not just flap my lips. So I'm kinda wandering my way into this looking for a place where I might be able shoulder some of the work.

In one of my former lives, I worked in PR - graphics. The firm I worked for did the print, radio, etc PR for the folks who stopped Disney from building in Haymarket, VA. (I was a very minor part of the process!) I've been around... environmental issues since the 70's... and I gotta say that there was never any need for RULES or REGS or laws even, to force anyone to clean up their industrial or agricultural act. It was a matter of conscience and business image... and in general companies and people all did the "right" thing.

Now, what I object to - regardless of topic - is one group claiming they "know best" and then forcing that idea on everyone else. So my dander's up on this issue of beach access, among other things.



I like the way you think and was going to say that you should contact CHAPA as soon as possible. Don't believe that will be necessary though. They're going to contact you!

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: Jim and Ginny - (Send PM)
Member Since: 10/24/2006
Location:
Total Posts: 3552

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 9:45 AM




Wacky, if you are suggesting that OBPA is dictating, nothing could be further from the truth. That said, given limited funds OBPA must prioritize where their funds are used. Right now it is litigation and motivating Congress.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 10:55 AM




What NPS doesn't tell you, is that they're setting aside habitat for Least Tern nesting areas, when the largest colony of least terns in the area is on the roof of the Tanger Mall in NH. Must not disturb the little critters......

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 10:59 AM




Wacky, if you are suggesting that OBPA is dictating, nothing could be further from the truth. That said, given limited funds OBPA must prioritize where their funds are used. Right now it is litigation and motivating Congress.



Absolutely. The lawsuits brought by Audubon, SELC and DOW have been funded with taxpayers dollars. CHAPA's lawsuits have been funded with donations by us.

A lot of lawyers have gotten rich off these suits. OBPA is made up entirely of volunteers. Maybe if we had an executive director kicking back a half million a year, and a staff of lawyers, we'd be more effective.

Audubon's resident lawyer on the Island (I guess he's still here, but I heard rumors he might be leaving) is drawing a salary of $300,000 a year for doing not much of anything. 30 pieces of silver to betray your Island. There was a furor awhile back when someone put his name, address, and Dare Co. GIS photos of his house up on the internet. I'd be scared too. (and I've got that info, and could do it right now). Kinda like Snakes info, which is, as he says, wrong. (the act, not the info).

The lawyers altruism and concern just brings me to tears....

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 11:10 AM




It's morally wrong, as is killing hundreds of animals for the sake of a few birds.



If there's anything that we, humanity, should have learned in the last 100 years, is that screwing with Mother Nature has negative consequences.

Add an invasive species, or try to eliminate a native species, and the whole system gets out of whack.

Piping Plover are cute little creatures, but after killing thousands of animals over the years, and nearly wrecking the Islands economy, we're fledging 10 chicks a year?

And the primary predators are not raccoons and foxes, they're other seabirds (herring gulls, etc.) and ghost crabs.

The cartoon is the back cover of Mad Magazine, Oct. 1998. There is truly nothing new under the sun.



madcoversite.com/mad374.html

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: Fortyfish - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Location: Buxton usually
Total Posts: 1082

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 11:28 AM




FWIW - I read Wacky's note regarding one group dictating to all as being directed to Audobon et al. If not, never mind....

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: kejoga - (Send PM)
Member Since: 9/15/2010
Location: Stoneville, NC
Total Posts: 39

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 12:22 PM




FWIW - I read Wacky's note regarding one group dictating to all as being directed to Audobon et al. If not, never mind....



As did I. Based on his tone, I couldn't interpret anything in his posts that would indicate otherwise.

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: robschonk - (Send PM)
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Location: Avon/Norfolk
Total Posts: 4290

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 12:35 PM




FWIW - I read Wacky's note regarding one group dictating to all as being directed to Audobon et al. If not, never mind....



During the Consent Decree hearings, Audubon dictated the terms, Judge Boyle agreed, and totally ignored any discussion to the contrary.

He slid the paper across to the CHAPA folks and told them to sign, or he would shut the whole beach down permanently.

They signed, under advice from their lawyer, but later wished they hadn't, so they would have been able to continue the fight in court.

When the new rules went into effect on Feb. 15th, the Consent Decree was superseeded, so now it's back to court.

Let the fireworks begin!

RE: Are Any Beaches ACTUALLY OPEN to ORV Access?
Posted By: wackydog - (Send PM)
Member Since: 6/9/2005
Location: Kitty Hawk
Total Posts: 448

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 4:02 PM




OK... to be perfectly clear here - I support OBPA and CHAPA and have already donated to NCBBA, this month. I expect I'll continue to donate to the cause monthly and believe the lawsuit - especially when supported by the Senate petitions - is the way to go. Sorry if anyone got the wrong idea. I am still new here... and haven't posted much in this forum.

To be plain - what passes for an environmentalist these days seems to me, to be someone who's drank the kool-aid and hasn't thought it through, while dictating to all & sundry that they know best. I remember when it didn't used to be this way... and people welcomed other ideas, viewpoints, and ideas... without demonizing anyone who disagreed with them.

We used to call that "conversation".

Page 1
seagrass
NEW Home | Outer Banks Vacation Rentals | Outer Banks Message Board | Outer Banks Webcams | Contact Us | Advertise



Privacy Policy | Outer Banks Vacation Rentals | Outer Banks Life | Copyright Notice | Outer Banks Weblog