Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Comments Needed for Cape Hatteras Management Plan

Via The Drinking Bird, I read that the National Park Service is seeking comments on its management plan for off-road vehicle (ORV) use in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The plan is the result of a long, contentious process and seeks to balance recreational ORV use on Cape Hatteras with the needs of wildlife, particularly beach-nesting Piping Plovers. An interim plan restricting ORV use has been in place for several years, and during that time populations of beach-nesting shorebirds have rebounded (pdf) after a decade of decline.

Since there is vocal and persistent opposition to any restrictions on ORV use, it is important that birders and other recreational visitors to the seashore make their voices heard during the public comment period.. Comments do not need to be long; a short comment should be enough to let federal officials know that there is public support for wildlife protection. Nate suggests including two points:

1) I support a regulation to manage ORV use within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

2) The regulation should include science-based protections for wildlife and vehicle-free areas for wildlife and pedestrians.
Submit comments here by September 6.