Tentative Deal Reached Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Management

A tentative deal has been reached that could allow birds and ORVs to co-exist at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

A tentative deal has been reached in the matter of off-road vehicle driving at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, although specific details have not yet been released.

The various parties in the case are expected to sign off on the agreement this week. Apparently, the deal will restrict to a certain degree ORVing on the seashore at certain times of the year in certain areas. What remains to be seen is exactly what those parameters are. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the closure areas "are also the most popular fishing spots, which generated much opposition. A large contingent feels closing those spots to driving will gravely hurt business on the island."

"We are pleased to have all parties to the case at the negotiating table and in agreement in principle
on the most important points of this issue," said Derb Carter of the Southern Environmental Law Center, which worked with Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society to sue the National Park Service over its lack of ORV management guidelines at Cape Hatteras. "We will continue to work to ensure that the natural resources and public enjoyment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore move forward hand in hand and look forward to filing a proposed consent decree (this) week."

Representatives for both Dare County, North Carolina, and the Outer Banks Preservation Association also were in support of the tentative agreement, as was the Park Service.

"This is the best of all possible outcomes," said Cape Hatteras Superintendent Mike Murray. "I am very pleased all parties have reached an agreement in principle."