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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Northeast  |  Topic: UFWDA beach access Action Alert 3/31/08 « previous next »
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Author Topic: UFWDA beach access Action Alert 3/31/08  (Read 1708 times)
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« on: March 31, 2008, 10:53:47 am »

UNITED FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATIONS

ACTION ALERT

For more information contact:
Carla Boucher
(757) 546-7969
attorney@ufwda.org


Monday, March 31, 2008

WHAT:  Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area is threatened by closure of large amounts of beaches to ORV and pedestrian use. 

WHEN:  A judge in federal district court will hear a motion for preliminary injunction on Friday, April, 4, 2008, in Raleigh, North Carolina. The injunction requests a ban on ORV use in certain beaches within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. 

We need your calls today and everyday this week. 

WHAT TO DORegardless of where you live, call your U.S. Congressional delegation urging them to protect the Outer Banks community.  Please call both your Representative and your Senators.  Find who represents you in Congress by clicking here http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
.
Ask them to pass legislation as soon as possible to clarify the Park Service’s previously expressed intent to maintain public access, particularly vehicle access, to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  

Use the talking points listed below in  “THE TRUTH” section. 

Focus equally on Republicans and Democrats.  Democrats particularly champion ESA protection. The organizations requesting the closure are undermining the ESA. 

THE ISSUE:  Three organizations have brought suit against the National Park Service asking the court to enter a preliminary injunction stopping all ORV driving in areas identified as critical for nesting waterbirds and shorebirds at Bodie Island Spit (Oregon Inlet), Cape Point, South Beach, Hatteras Spit, North Ocracoke, and South Ocracoke on Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. 

ENVIRONMENTALIST CLAIMS: The three organizations make the following claims to the court to support their motion for the injunction of ORV use.
•   The economic injury to ORV users and the local economy will be minimal
•   The injury to the species will be “irreparable” and cause “extirpation” of endangered, threatened, and rare species
•   The injunction would cause only a limited reduction in the area of beach open to ORV driving

THE TRUTH:

•   The organizations bringing the law suit are threatening the strength of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by demanding more than is necessary to protect the species.  Each time organizations like these reach beyond the spirit and the letter of the ESA they weaken it to the point that no American can trust the government to use the ESA to actually protect any species. 
•   Most of the area in question will be closed WITHOUT THE INJUNCTION!
•   The injunction is UNNECESSARY.  Even without an injunction the NPS has closed all the areas in question except for a narrow strip of sand at the water’s edge.  A 100 foot wide corridor will be the most that is left for ORV driving WITHOUT THE INJUNCTION.
•   The injunction isn’t a choice between protection and no protection.  3 Action alternatives were prepared by the US Geological Service (USGS) and considered by NPS before implementing the current species protection plan.  The organizations asking for the ORV closure only like one of the three actions recommended by USGS.  All three protocol alternatives, including the one currently in force, were USGS recommended PROTECTION alternatives!
•   The people of the United States were guaranteed in 1952 by Congress and then-Superintendent Conrad Wirth that vehicle access to the seashore would be allowed. 
•   The economies of Hatteras and Ocracoke depend exclusively on tourism and fishing.  Losing access to fishing and tourist beaches will devastate the local economy and have irreparable impact to the entire Outer Banks economy. 







« Last Edit: March 31, 2008, 10:55:49 am by Carla Boucher » Logged

Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Jay Breeden
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 11:39:47 am »

What ever happened with this?
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Chris Sine
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 07:08:43 am »

What ever happened with this?

x2 I am heading to Nags Head in just a few weeks and I would like to know where we stand
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Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 12:13:48 pm »

We're all waiting.  The turn of events with the court case has been fast and furious over the past couple of weeks.

4/04/08 - hearing was set for Motion for Preliminary Injunction to curtail ORV access even more than contemplated by NPS during 2008 breeding season
4/02/08 - Parties to the suit asked the court for a continuance stating they were close to reaching a settlement  Asked for continuance until 4/11/08
4/16/08 - Parties file Consent Decree (Settlement Agreement).  Decree increases ORV closures around unfledged plover chicks in excess of the greatest closure distance contemplated by NPS in the species management strategy.  Under the decree, ORV closures around unfledged chicks exceed 1/2 mile!  Court must approve decree before it is final.
4/18/08 - Court orders National Park Service to answer 7 questions about consent decree.
4/18/08 - Court orders in camera ex parte meeting with NPS in judge's chambers on 4/21/08 - without counsel for NPS, privately, with a court reporter but records would be sealed.
4/18/08 or 4/21/08 Court cancels order for in camera meeting with NPS
4/22/08 - NPS files response to Judge's 7 questions
4/22/08 - Judge order NPS to answer 4 more questions about consent decree by 4/28/08.
4/22/08 - Judge orders hearing on decree for 4/30/08
4/25/08 - NPS files response to Judge's 4 questions
4/29/08 - Cape Hatteras Superintendent Mike Murray declaration is filed by NPS
4/30/08 - TODAY judge hears case at 2:00 p.m.

We have not heard from elected officials on whether they will intervene on the behalf of ORV use at Cape Hattaras.  So please, if you haven't yet contacted your congressman please do so!

Carla


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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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Posts: 1,007



« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 12:17:49 pm »

I have posted a different update on the Cape Hatteras situation here:
http://www.ufwda.org/smf/index.php?topic=2105.0

UFWDA has requested the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) remove environmental plaintiff's from the committee.  See attached UFWDA letter.

Carla
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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Peter Vahry
UFWDA International Vice-President
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 11:20:54 pm »

It looks like your work might have paid off Carla  Grin

http://www.witntv.com/home/headlines/18425119.html

Thank you.
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Auckland Four Wheel Drive Club Inc, 4x4 Challenges NZ Inc, NZFWDA life member
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WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 08:26:51 am »

Quote
“The long standing position of our Board is to support free and open access to all users of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The efforts of Defenders of Wildlife and National Audubon to restrict or deny access to America’s beaches by the public are shameful," Warren Judge, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners said in a news release.
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Keith Holman
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 06:39:13 pm »

The OBX beaches are a regular destination for us in Capital Off Road Enthusiasts (CORE) . We head down that way at least once per year as a club and many of our members make individual trips throughout the year. Our group trip always included a Friday night ride.

I recall vividly one of our members being absolutely AMAZED (no exaggeration here) at seeing the Milky Way from the point by the Hatteras light. As an adult, he'd never been that far out of the city to be able to see the unobstructed night sky. I just can't describe the feelings I felt at seeing this grown man (40ish) experience something for the first I had taken for granted. The night time closure will prevent a repeat of that particular experience, of course...but it's nice to know we still have the opportunity to ride the beach.

I appreciate the letter you have written, Carla. From the time the lawsuit was filed, I felt it was a violation of the spirit of the negotiated rulemaking agreement. You provide a legal basis for their exclusion but my head and my heart knew it just wasn't right.

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What are you supposed to do when you see an "endangered" animal eating an "endangered" plant?
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Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
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