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Seasonal Guidelines Instituted To Protect Nesting Shorebirds...At Gulf Islands National Seashore


Though it might seem the only stories about nesting shorebirds in the national parks revolve around Cape Hatteras National Seashore, there are nesting shorebirds at Gulf Islands National Seashore, too, and officials are implementing seasonal guidelines to protect them.

Gulf Islands Superindent Dan Brown says the 2011 shorebird nesting season is under way
in the Florida District of of the seashore. Among the species of nesting birds are least terns, snowy and Wilson's plovers, and black skimmers.

Areas where birds are nesting will be closed to the public and marked accordingly. These closed areas represent a very small percentage of the seashore and officials request that you divert activities to other areas of the park, Superintendent Brown says.

"If you find yourself besieged by birds, it means that you are near an unmarked nesting area or young chicks," a park release said. "Please leave the area by back-tracking your steps - these eggs are very small and may be hard to see."

Since birds and the chicks are often struck by vehicles as they wander onto or fly across roadways at the seashore, posted speed limits are being temporarily reduced to 20 mph in those areas where birds are nesting in close proximity to the roadway.

"By observing posted speed limits and watching carefully for birds flying across or feeding along the roadway, you can help to protect the nesting colonies," the seashore statement said. "By August, nesting will have been completed, and normal use of the road will resume."

Seashore officials also urged bicyclists, walkers, and joggers to temporarily avoid areas along the roadway posted as closed for nesting shorebirds. Any intrusion into the nesting area causes the birds to take flight, leaving their nests vulnerable, the seashore said, adding that the parent birds will often dive at the intruder in an effort to drive them away from the colony.

Alarmed birds may then fly low across the road and into the paths of oncoming vehicles

"We believe we can protect the nesting shorebirds and allow them to reproduce and flourish while minimizing the impacts to the visiting public," said Superintendent Brown.

For additional information on park programs and resources, you can contact the Naval
Live Oaks Visitor Center at 850-934-2600 or visit the seashore's website at


For all of those who differ it is only that we differ slightly. Look deep down and we all have the same intentions. We the ORV crowd have preserved this beach for more than 80 years. Those who now speak so lowdly were silent until the lawsuit brought down the hammer on the NPS for failing to adopt a rule.
"Matt could walk in the tidal zone, drive his ORV to a different place in the park to recreate,"

Yes I could and yes I do, but when you pigeon hole those who wish to get away from it all into a corner that kind of ruins the experience. Kind of like Yellowstone only having Old Faithful with the remainder preserved for future generations.

"park his vehicle in one of the many parking lots and walk the 100 yards to the beach or take his vacation in the early fall when Cape Point is open to ORV access and the weather outstanding. There are many places to swim etc in CAHA that don’t require a mile drive or walk."

Please reread the fact I have a family and we want to get away from it all. Common sense will prevail once you realize that.

 (Fact Checker, Please take this in the manner it is intended).
Boy, don't you just love that comment made by Mr. Bob Janiskee a couple of weeks ago. It went " But, why would he want to". Hope some of you saw that. It was a classic.
I'll be a while getting over that one.

Thanks Bob,

Lee I do understand Matt’s and Ron’s frustration. There are extremist on both sides
and I think they are obvious.  Some more facts I have uncovered.

Wheat it appears is or was an employee of Red Drum Tackle in Buxton NC. Buxton is in
the confines of CAHA and is closest to the contested “Cape Point” area (nesting plovers, skimmers, oyster catchers and terns and world class surf fishing). Wheat’s boss represented the powerful national fishing lobby ASA (American Sportfishing Association) at the regneg both of which have a considerable financial interest in keeping Cape Point open to ORV access.

Matt could walk in the tidal zone, drive his ORV to a different place in the park to recreate, park his vehicle in one of the many parking lots and walk the 100 yards to the beach or take his vacation in the early fall when Cape Point is open to ORV access and the weather outstanding.  There are many places to swim etc in CAHA that don’t require a mile drive or walk.

Thanks, Matt.  That is certainly a reasonable reply and I do understand where you're coming from.

The points I was trying to make were that 1> The NPS is always in a very tight spot and simply cannot in any way please everyone.  2> If we are to make any kind of progress on anything, we need to sit down and reason together and not shout at one another.  And 3>  When it comes to preserving any resource for the future, all decisions made now should be made on the side of caution because damage done today may not be reversible in the future.

I'll research Audubon.  To be honest, I have heard some rumblings somewhere of what you've mentioned although I have not followed up.

Your experiences with your family are not much different than some of mine.  We had a family favorite camp spot that we loved.  But one day we headed out there and discovered the Forest Service had closed the area to all vehicle access because ORVs were tearing up the surrounding countryside.  We had never had our tires off the established road, but had seen the damage so we understood.  But it hurt like the dickens to be people who had always followed the rules only to be locked out by the irresponsible actions of others.

I keep preaching -- and perhaps I'm only preaching to the choir -- that instead of attacking the people responsible for managing our public lands we all go to work and attack the scofflaws instead.  If we can hunt them down and corral them, maybe some of those closed areas might someday be reopened.

Good hunting, Friend!  And keep smiling.

Hey Lee Dalton, It might be time for me to lay off this stuff for a while. I was trying to cover too much territory in too little time. I was looking at Kurts article on Big Bend National Park, got to thinking about our comments and posted a note there by mistake. Should have been here. If you care to read it, please save me the time of rewriting by looking at it over there. Hope you understand.I was not trying to bring you into something over there.
Best to you,

My mistake I only read what you wrote and not what you intended. Being how you used the word destructive before clarifying that it is used in the realm of Extremism.

I assure you I am not extreme on any account, but I do take my family out onto the beaches of Cape Hatteras to get away from it all as you probably do in your National park of your choice. Since we are not afforded any other form of transportation we either must walk or drive our personal street legal ORV's to the destination to get away from it all. Walking is acceptable and has been done by myself many times, however when my family (wife and kids 6years old and 3 years old) is inclined to get away from it all on the beaches of Cape Hatteras walking is not an option. This is not because they are not capable, but more so that the sand is well over 100 degrees, the walk is nearly a mile at times, and the gear needed at the least is a cooler and shade structure. If in fact you have ever had kids you should understand this fact. If you have not had kids then I cannot express enough to you how difficult draggin them 1 mile each way across 100 degree sand for them to spend time on a beach not covered with people, towels and toys. I have fished from the beach, but I mostly enjoy my families company and I might even kayak in the surf. The point I am trying to make hear is that if this is extremism then yes I am, but I guess in some ways we all are.

As far as the last statement I meant the audubon and if you search audubon,property sales, and disputes on google you will see many examples of them selling land given to them to protect. Some instances they sold to developers they were intended to protect the land from. They even leased oil drilling rights on their land in the gulf coast.

There is a huge difference in what "destruction" means.  When destruction refers to physical destruction of a place by tire tracks, tearing down or cutting vegetation, invasive species, or vandalism, it is not hyperbole.  But when the word is used in trying to gain emotional support for actions that might limit what the person wants, it is an entirely different useage.

Any word can be used in an inflammatory way in one sentence and not in another.  It depends upon context.

I guess you are trying to refer to "Audubon" in your last sentence but I have no idea what you are writing about.

First you say this...

"When anyone uses inflammatory words like "destruction," I believe they
are going beyond reasonable discussion and entering into the realms of

But you also said this...

"The real danger of destruction of America's
parklands, including CAHA comes from those demanding unrestricted
access, development, and other potentially destructive actions."

And his website is misleading...:)

" If we follow the dollars, will we find someone here who sees a financial reward in all this?"

Please see Auduobahns land sales of land given to them so they would protect it from development... I found the MONEY.

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