Home Coalition News
Coalition Statements
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:36

On January 20, 2017 the National Park Service (NPS) implemented a new ORV Management Rule at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (Seashore).  The new rule replaced the previous rule which had been in effect since February, 2012.  With this action, the NPS has officially addressed each component of the Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2015, Section 3057: Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (Act).

The completion of the NPS actions in response to the Act is a significant milestone in the efforts of beach access advocates which have been ongoing since the 1970s when executive orders were issued requiring the designation of ORV routes and areas on NPS lands.

The NPS aggressively began an effort to establish an ORV rule for the Seashore in 2005 in response to lawsuits from several environmental organizations in the previous few years.  The Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA), led by the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA), North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA) and the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club (CHAC), has fought for the past 17 years on behalf of the members of these organizations and for all beach access advocates to insure any rules or policies implemented would preserve and protect the natural resources and recreational opportunities within the Seashore without prohibiting the access formally promised to the public at the Seashore’s dedication in 1958 by the director of the NPS, Conrad Wirth.

The first rule and associated wildlife management practices, which were implemented in February of 2012, had significant shortcomings.  Congress recognized these shortcomings and passed the Act in December of 2014 requiring that they be addressed.  The Act and many of the changes made by NPS to respond to the Act were influenced by recommendations made by CHAPA, its member organizations, representatives of local governments and the individuals who have advocated beach access throughout this process.

At this milestone, it is important to reflect on the changes made regarding pedestrian and ORV access to the Seashore as a result of the Act and to look forward to the future.

Click to Read More.....  (a pdf file will be opened or downloaded)

 
Monday, 03 October 2016 06:29

Proposed ORV Rule Published in Federal Register

Public Comments Due by October 21, 2016

CHAPA Assessment of Proposal and Instructions for Submission of Comments

9/30/2016

On August 22, 2016 the National Park Service (NPS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (FR Doc. 2016-19844) (Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cape Hatteras National Seashore—Off-Road Vehicle Management).  The public comment period for the proposed rule ends on October 21, 2016.  We urge you to review the proposed changes to the ORV rule and to submit comments.

The Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) sent the attached letter to North Carolina Senators Burr and Tillis and Congressman Jones on September 23, 2016 to advise them of our reactions to the proposed rule.  We share this letter with you to aid you as you prepare your comments.   Click here to open or download the September 23 CHAPA letter

The proposed rule changes were prepared by the NPS as a direct result of the legislation sponsored by our senators and congressman in December, 2014.  CHAPA believes that the proposed changes to the rule will have a favorable impact on access, however, additional changes are necessary if the legislation is to be viewed as a success.

NPS identified Alternative 2 in Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Consideration of Modifications to the Final Rule for ORV Management Environmental Assessment – February 2016 (EA)as their preferred alternative.  In March, CHAPA commented that the preferred alternative was a good starting point but that additional changes should be incorporated into the Final Rule.

The proposed rule does not include the suggested changes submitted by CHAPA in March.  It is essentially the same as the preferred alternative from the EA.  The goal of our recommendations is to establish an ORV rule that will both insure resource protection and allow maximum access for both pedestrians and ORVs.  We believe that NPS should incorporate our recommendations to better meet the intention of the law.  CHAPA has advised the NPS of our position.

We ask you to review the proposed rule and provide your comments to the NPS.  Your individual participation in the proposed rule comment period is critical to the success of our efforts to improve access at the Seashore.  Click here to open the rule making portal where you will be able to read the proposed rule, read comments submitted by others, and submit your comments electronically.

Other Info:

Click here to open or download CHAPA's Original Comments on February, 2016 EA.

Click here to open or download the entire February, 2016  EA in pdf format.

DATES: The public comment period will be open for 60 days. Comments must be received on or before midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) on October 21, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Proposed Rule, identified by the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN): 1024-AE33, by any of the following methods:

Comments submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal, or submitted by mail must be entered, or postmarked, before midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) October 21, 2016. Comments submitted by hand delivery must be received by the close of business hours (5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) October 21, 2016.  Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above, and bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

Answers to frequently asked questions are available here: https://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/news/16_051.htm.

 
March 9, 2016

The deadline for submission of comments to the National Park Service on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for consideration of modifications to the ORV rule currently in effect at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area are due Friday, March 18, 2016.

The EA describes three alternatives for possible changes.  CHAPA submitted comments today which advised that additional modifications must be made to any of the alternatives if the objectives of the legislation which required this public process are to be achieved.


Your individual participation in the EA comment period is also critical to the success of our efforts to improve access at the Seashore
.

Click here to open of download CHAPA's Comments on EA.

Instructions for submission of comments are provided below.

Click here to open or download the entire EA in pdf format.

Click here to submit comments electronically.  (Select the “Open for Comment” link to view and comment on the EA.)

  or,

Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954.

To ensure your comments are included in this process, they must be entered into the above referenced website or postmarked by March 18, 2016. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, social media, or in any other manner than those specified above. Bulk comments in hard copy or electronic formats submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.


Click to view Alternatives Summary.......
 
February 17, 2016

On February 17, the National Park Service released for public review the the Environmental Assessment (EA) for consideration of modifications to the ORV rule currently in effect at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  As described in the press release below, public comments can be submitted during the 30 day period ending on March 18, 2016.

You will recall that the NPS conducted scoping meetings during the summer of 2015.  At that time, OBPA submitted proposals for consideration.  Those proposals can be reviewed in other articles on this website.  OBPA will compare the EA to the 2015 proposals and submit comments accordingly during the next 30 days.

Your individual participation in the EA comment period is also critical to the success of our efforts to improve access at the Seashore.

OBPA urges you the review the press release and the EA and provide comments.  As you may recall, the promulgation of the rule is a long, highly regulated process.  The current rule was implemented in February, 2012.  Rule changes can only be implemented after following the same process used to establish the original rule.  Therefore, opportunitiies to make rule changes such as the ones under consideration now are few and far between. 

The EA is a 169 page document prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  While you may not want to read the entire document, you will want to review the three alternatives discussed by the NPS.  Page 51 of the document (actual page 59 within the pdf) is titled "Table 1.Alternative Summary".  The NPS preferred alternative is Alternative 2.  These alternatives are described in detail with accompanying maps in other sections of the EA.

A link to the one page Alternative summary follows the NPS press release below.

Click here to open or download the entire EA in pdf format.


Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Please submit your comments now!

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 17, 2016         16-013

Contact : 252-473-2111 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Available for Public Review and Comment

Consideration of Modifications to the Final Rule for Off Road Vehicle Management Environmental Assessment

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) released today, for public review, an environmental assessment (EA) for the consideration of modification to the final rule for off road vehicle (ORV) management. The Seashore is holding public comment meetings to consider changes to the ORV special regulation (final rule) as it relates to morning opening of beaches, extending the length of fall and spring seasonal ORV routes, and modifying the size and location of vehicle free areas. This EA, prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, will be open for review and comment for 30 days from February 17 - March 18, 2016.

This EA was prepared in response to the Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291) pertaining to the Seashore’s Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Plan.

Seashore staff will conduct five public meetings to provide information on the EA and receive public comments. The public meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • February 26, 2016, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
  • February 29, 2016, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Embassy Suites by Hilton Hampton Hotel Convention Center & Spa, 1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA  23666
  • March 1, 2016, 6 p.m.– 8 p.m. – Cape Hatteras Secondary School, 48576 Hwy 12, Buxton, NC 27920
  • March 2, 2016, 6 p.m.– 8 p.m. – Ocracoke School, 120 Schoolhouse Rd, Ocracoke Island, NC 27960
  • March 3, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – McKimmon Conference & Training Center, 1101 Gorman Street, NC State University Campus, Raleigh, NC 27695

The EA is available for review and comment at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea. Select the “Open for Comment” link to view and comment on the EA. Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954. To ensure your comments are included in this process, they must be entered into the above referenced website or postmarked by March 18, 2016. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, social media, or in any other manner than those specified above. Bulk comments in hard copy or electronic formats submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

For more information see the park website at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/parkmgmt/2015ndaact.htm.

Click to view Alternatives Summary.......
 
CHAPA Submits ORV Rule Change Scoping Comments
Sunday, 23 August 2015 15:04
CHAPA submitted scoping comments including recommendations for changes to the ORV rule on August 21. Recommendations include changes to dates for opening seasonal ORV routes, changes to times for morning opening and evening closing of ORV routes during summer months, and designation of Vehicle Free Areas (VFAs).

Click here to read CHAPA's submission..... 
 
«StartPrev123456789NextEnd»

Page 1 of 9

The OBPA is a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) IRS designation.  Donations are tax deductible.