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Monday, 04 November 2013 12:11
A hearing has been scheduled in Manteo on November 21, 2013 related to the Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.  The hearing will be conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), an agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

The OBPA will publish a summary of our views on the issues that affect our membership and which must be appropriately addressed by NOAA during this process.  We will publish our recommendations prior to the meeting for our members to consider in their official comments.

We encourage all to comment of this important matter, and to attend the meeting in Manteo on November 21, 2013 if you are able.  Comments are due by 11/29/2013.

The announcement published  11/4/2013 in the Federal Register follows.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 226


RIN 0648–BD27


Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act; Public Hearing

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:
Notice of public hearing.

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, will hold a public hearing related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

DATES: The public hearing will be held on November 21, 2013, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with doors  opening at 6:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES:
The hearing will be held at: Dare County Administration Building, Dare County Board of Commissioners Meeting Room, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC 27954.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Pultz, NMFS Office of Protected
Resources, Silver Spring, MD,
telephone: 301–427–8472,
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:


Background

NMFS staff will present a brief overview of the Proposed Rule titled Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and Determination Regarding Critical Habitat for the North Pacific Ocean Loggerhead DPS. Following this overview, members of the public will have the opportunity to go on record with comments on the proposed designation. Members of the public may also submit written comments at the hearing, or via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. To do the latter, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0079-0002 , click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 43006) and may be obtained at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0079-0002 or https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/07/18/2013-17204/endangered-andthreatened-species-designation-ofcritical-habitat-for-the-northwestatlantic-ocean
More information and background documents can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/loggerhead.htm
 Scroll down to ‘‘Key Documents.’’

Speaker Sign Up

Doors will open for registration at 6:30 p.m. for sign-up and seating. Time allotted will depend upon the number of speakers but will likely be limited to 5 minutes each. Registered speakers will be asked to indicate their full name, contact information, and the identity of any organizations on whose behalf they may be speaking.

Special Accommodations
The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to Susan Pultz (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.
 
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:04

ANNOUNCEMENT:  2013

OBPA Annual Members Meeting

1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cape Hatteras Anglers Club • 47231 Light Plant Road • Buxton, NC 27920


Dear OBPA Members;

The Outer Banks Preservation Association will hold its annual members meeting on Saturday October 26, 2013 at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, 47231 Light Plant Road Buxton N.C. 27920 at 1:00 pm.  The annual meeting will consist of a report from the president for the prior year and up-to-date informational reports to the membership by the Officers and committees.  No business will be conducted at this meeting.  Minutes of the meeting will be posted at www.obpa.org.  After the meeting, the Board of Directors will answer any questions members might have.  Hope to see you there.


Respectfully,


John Couch

President OBPA


2013 HIGHLIGHTS

Legislative Action:

House of Representatives:

  • 2/26/2013 - House Bill H.R. 819, Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act, was introduced by Congressman Walter B. Jones.
  • 3/14/2013 - The House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation held a Legislative hearing on H.R. 819.  Congressman Walter B. Jones and Dare County Commissioners Chairman Warren Judge provided testimony at this hearing in Washington, D.C.
  • 5/15/2013 – H.R. 819 approved 24 – 17 by House Natural Resources Committee.
  • 7/9/2013 – H.R. 819 reported by the Committee and placed on the Union Calendar item 106.

Senate:

  • 3/7/2013 - Senate Bill S.486, Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act, was introduced by Senators Burr and cosponsored by Senator Hagan.
  • 4/23/2013 - The Senate Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S.486.
  • 6/17/2013 – Senator Burr introduced an amendment to S. 486 cosponsored by Senator Hagan.
  • The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources unanimously approved an amendment to S. 486 in the nature of a substitute.
  • 9/10/2013 – Senator Wyden, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, reported S. 486 with amendment in the nature of a substitute to the Senate.
  • 9/10/2013 – S.486 placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar item number 180.  Floor debate and vote have not yet been scheduled.

What can you do?

  • Contact your Senators and urge them to support S.486 and take the steps necessary to bring to the floor and pass this legislation.

Legal Action:

  • CHAPA vs Salazar(DOI), Jarvis(NPS), Murray(CAHA) case 1:12-cd-00219 which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on February 9, 2012.  Remains active in 2013.
  • 12/23/2012 – Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued an order to transfer the case to the U.S. District Court for Eastern District NC where it was subsequently assigned to Judge Terrence W. Boyle.  The new case number is 2:13-cv-1-BO.
  • 2/25/2013 – Court issued Scheduling Order for motions to be filed by the parties in the case.
  • 4/18/2013 – Court granted plaintiff’s (CHAPA) motion for extension of time to file motion for summary judgment from 4/19/2013 to 7/10/2013 with similar extensions for other scheduled dates.
  • 7/10/2013 – Plaintiff (CHAPA) filed motion for Summary Judgment.  (See OBPA website to read motion)
  • 9/10/2013 – Court granted defendants’ (DOI) motion for extension of time to file motion for summary judgment from 9/10/2013 to 10/8/2013.  Plaintiff’s (CHAPA) response will be due 12/12/2013 and defendants’ replies will be due 1/13/2014.

Educational Efforts:

Visit www.obpa.org for the most current information on Free and Open Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area


 
Sunday, 15 September 2013 19:32
The OBPA submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on September 14 on the proposed rule to designate terrestrial critical habitat for the Loggerhead sea turtle.  The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2013 with notice of a public comment period.  The public comment period was reopened by notice in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013.  The comment period ends on September 16. 

The rule considers all beaches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi as potential candidates for designation for the Loggerhead Northwest Atlantic Distinct Population Segment. A total of 184 different beach segments ranging in length from 0.2 km to 90.0 km are found in these states.  Total length for all beach segments considered is 2,464 km.  Of the 184 segments, 90 segments totaling 1,189.9 km are being proposed as Critical Habitat designation.

In North Carolina,  eight beach segments totaling 154.6 km are proposed as critical habitat.  These  segments are Bogue Banks, Bear Island, Topsail Island, Lea-Hutaff Island, Pleasure Island, Bald Head Island, Oak Island and Holden Beach.

Neither Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area nor Cape Lookout National Seashore are designated as Critical Habitat in the current proposal. 
The Southern Environmental Law Center submitted comments asking that both CAHA and CALO be added to the designated Critical Habitat units.

The OBPA made ten recommendations in the comments it submitted.  One recommendation was that Cape Hatteras not be added to the Critical Habitat designation.  A second recommendation was that no beaches in North Carolina should be designated as Critical Habitat.  In each case, the OBPA argued that the nest counts and nest density per kilometer compared to other beach segments within the six states are far too low for Cape Hatteras or other North Carolina beaches to be considered critical to the survival of the species.

Click here to read the comments, details for these two recommendations and the other eight recommendations submitted.

 

4/10/2013
National Parks Subcommittee Hearing Scheduled 4/23/2013 - S.486

The Senate Subcommittee on National Parks announced a hearing to be held on 4/23/2013 to hear testimony on 14 National Parks Bills iincluding S. 486 - To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Recreational Area, and for other purposes.

The full agenda for the hearing can be viewed at 

http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/4/national-parks-subcommittee-hearing-to-consider


We will update this article as inofrmation becomes available.

 


March 14, 2013

House Subcommittee Hearing on H.R. 819 - "P
reserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act"

On March 14, 2013 the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation held a Legislative Hearing on H.R. 588, H.R. 716 and H.R. 819.

Congressman Walter B. Jones and Warren Judge, Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners gave testimony in support of this legislation.  They made clear the problems which have been created for the visitors and residents of the Outer Banks by the promulgation of the ORV rule on February 15, 2012 and the importance of the passage of H.R. 819.

Information concerning the hearing can be viewed at the
Hearing website

Links to the written testimony submitted, as well as to the archived hearing webcast are also available on the site.

 
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