Simply the facts! Working for improved access for all!
CHAPA outlines a "multi-step decision-making process" for resource management that allows for flexibility.
The documents also include a grid which CHAPA calls a "buffer and corridors decision matrix" that outlines current buffers, proposed new standard buffers, procedures for bypasses and corridors around closures, and the duration of the buffers.
Here are some of the highlights of the CHAPA proposals:
•Standard buffers for American oystercatchers would not change. They are 150 meters for courtship, nesting, and abandoned and lost nests and 200 meters for unfledged chicks and post fledging.
•Standard buffers for colonial waterbirds would be reduced from 75 meters to 50 meters for courtship, nesting, and abandoned nests, and from 200 meters to 150 meters for unfledged chicks.
•Standard buffers for piping plovers would be reduced from 75 meters to 50 meters for courtship nesting, and abandoned nests and from 1,000 meters to 200 meters on each side of the brood for the first week and 100 meters after that. These buffers, CHAPA said, are based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1996 Piping Plover Recovery Plan.
•Additional NPS staff members should be used if required to monitor the movement of unfledged piping plover chicks to enable the smaller buffers.
•Pedestrians and vehicles should not be prohibited in pre-nesting closures for oystercatchers and colonial waterbirds.
•All pre-nesting closures should be removed no later than July 31.
•In all cases, if buffers close pedestrian or vehicle access, the park should look first to a bypass, separated from the resource by natural or manmade barriers, such as dunes. If a bypass is not available, the park should consider a corridor around or through the closure.
•If neither a bypass or corridor is possible, the park should consider modified, lesser buffer distances. If the buffer cannot be modified, the superintendent should have the discretion to reduce the buffer to a minimum on a case-by-case basis.
•The duration of resource closures would be reduced from two weeks to one week if a nest is abandoned.
•All buffers are to be removed immediately after chicks fledge.
•Sea turtle nest buffers would be about the same as they currently are under park resource policies. Hatch-window buffers would be reduced and more emphasis would be placed on bypasses and corridors around nests in the hatch window.
•If no temporary bypass or alternate route is available during the hatch window, the nest would be relocated.
•The recommendations also call for solid light-impermeable fencing extending to the high tide line during the period of Sept. 15-Nov. 15 when night driving is permitted on ORV routes with no turtle nests. The purpose of the fencing would be to protect hatchlings from disturbance from headlights of vehicles in ORV routes. This would stop situations such as the one that arose last fall when the ORV route from Ramp 44 to Cape Point was closed from Oct. 6 until Nov. 25 because of possible light disturbance to a nest that was adjacent to but not in the ORV route.