Cape Hatteras National Seashore Getting Back To Normal After Hurricane Arthur

Life is getting back to normal at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which dodged a bullet when Hurricane Arthur passed through the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Normal operations were returning Saturday to the national seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

Facilities that have returned to normal hours of operation include:

* Wright Brothers National Memorial; the Visitor Center and all grounds

* Fort Raleigh National Historic Site; the Visitor Center, all grounds, but downed trees remain on many of the trails

* Bodie Island Lighthouse and Bodie Island Visitor Center

* Oregon Inlet Campground Ramp 4 is open to Off-Road Vehicle use

* Coquina Beach Bathhouse and Lifeguard operation

* Coquina Beach Off-Road Vehicle Permit office

Many facilities on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island remain closed due to access and electrical needs. A few areas have opened to accommodate visitors already on the islands. Those facilities include:

* Cape Hatteras Buxton Visitor Center and grounds surrounding the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - (the Lighthouse remains closed to climbing)

* Buxton Lighthouse Beach Lifeguard operation

* Hatteras Island Off-Road Vehicle Ramps open include: Ramp 27, 30,38,43,44, 49, 55

* Ocracoke Island Off-Road Vehicle Ramp 70 and south is open

Ocracoke Island received significant wind and water damage from Hurricane Arthur. As of Saturday, the island does not have consistent electrical power. Repairs were ongoing.

Comments

Well, I take if those closures to protect bird nests, that brought people to fits were ultimately moot, and that those birds better try again next year.

There were a lot of unfledged chicks that we're negatively impacted.

Birds have evolved to adjust to weather events if there is consistent protected suitable habitat. These kinds of storms often create perfect breeding habitat (sand fan overwashes).

Weather and predation are biggest obstacles for the birds and turtles at CHNSRA, not the purported human disturbance as the NPS wants us to believe. I don't know if the NPS moved any turtle nests, most wouldn't have survived the hurricanes pounding surf.

Beachdumb,

Predation can often be linked to human activity. Feral cats were introduced to HI and foxes recently either by crossing the OI bridge or being relocated here. Raccoons, possums, gulls and crows all problem predators benefit from trash food and fish bait, increasing their carrying capacity. Watch what happens if you forget to put your bait back in your cooler. Artificial dunes and highway 12 have restricted natural process resulting in reduction of nesting habitat ( sand overwashes). Vehicles on remote beaches flush feeding and resting shorebirds using energy reserves. Birds and turtles have not evolved to deal with these problems year after year but did fine in the past with weather events.

If the Park moved all the turtle nests and produced more turtles would you be fine with that?

I think it would be interesting to see a 10 year documentation via photos, etc that shows these zones changing over time. They could setup 10 different spots, at 10 different locations, and each year document the nesting, the changes in the dunes after storm events etc. I think it would be a very interesting study. It's amazing how much any sort of terrain can shift even within a decade.

Gary, I agree, ecological surveys are extremely valuable. The University of California at Berkeley did a survey of Yosemite back in the early 1900s. Funding was found to re-enact the University survey 100 years later. This was an extremely interesting and productive effort, done over 3 years, resulting in much new information on climate change in the central Sierra and how trees, plants, animals, birds, etc. are adapting to it. Research should be at the forefront of all our ecological restoration efforts. I think we should ask for transparency in these efforts but should support them whole heartedly. The results may change the way us locals have used an area for generations, none of us like to see new restrictions, but the effort will be worth it.

Unless the ORVers get their way, there are a couple of small (1 1/2 - 2 milea) sections of beach that were designated as vehicle free under the NEPA formed ORV rule for CAHA. 2 of these areas have little visitation compared to the adjacient ORV beaches. They would make excellent study sites for exactly what you are describing.

I say unless because the 3 fishing/ ORV accessing orrganizations are still actively lobbing to reduce or ellimimate as much of the remote VFAs as possible. There is still a bill floating in the Sennate that could do that.

Buxton, the dishonesty of you and your organizations are only bolstering those advocating for more reasonable access. Those that understand the situation are more than disappointed by those that ignore the facts and hide truth.

You know that there are several VFAs on Hatteras Island and several that existed before the new management plan. Several of these existing VFAs are seasonal. One of those VFAs is 13+ contigous miles of NPS land on the North end of the island. This VFA has not allowed vehicle access for over 40 years.

This kind of study would be ideal on the Northern end of the island. There is even less visitation in this area, but you don't want acknowledge this because makes the argument that pro-access groups want to eliminate all VFAs not truthful.

As far as the bill in the Senate, I have no hope for it at this time with a Democrat majority and a corrupt president. Unfortunatley, he has already said he would not support similar bills.

http://outerbanksvoice.com/2014/07/06/meet-the-man-at-the-helm-of-the-hatteras-island-fishing-fleet/

Meet the man at the helm of the Hatteras Island fishing fleet

By on July 6, 2014

"The thing about environmentalism that doesn’t work, Foster said, is making policy that has no grounding in what the people who live in that environment see. For instance, fishermen go past a spoil island every day, and it is brimming with black skimmers. Despite that, access to the nearby beach in Cape Hatteras National Seashore is restricted to protect a few skimmers, as if their populations are critically threatened.

“All the fishermen, every one of them, are seeing that and it makes people doubt you,” he said. “When they know you lie about something, why should they believe you about other things?"

This kind of evidence was ignored to make the appearance of declining species count under your joke of a NEPA. This new MP went to far, less retrictive measures can be used to allow for a better balance.

Why does the NPS allow itself to be manipulated by these clearly dishonest eco groups? I see it as the same thing of like how NOAA and NASA manipulate the climate data and ignore the raw real data to make the appearance of "global warming".

During the DEIS portion these eco groups were caught manipulating the comments and the comments were thrown out. NEPA was a mess and has been rightfully challenged by the way...

Beachdumb,

We are talking about CAHA, not PINWR. You can lump the 2 together if you want, no one who manages the 2 places does. Why do I or should I agree to your misunderstanding. PINWR was carved out of CHNS as directed in the EL. There are FWS signs as you enter the Refugee.

If you knew the history correctly you would know the organizations you are a member of successfully pressured the Park to open up some of the old nonexistent VFA that had been closed to ORVs for narrow beaches. Any beach that got wide enough for a vehicle to drive on was subject to being opened to ORVs because there were no designated VFA beaches, with the possible exception of in front the former Navy Base in Buxton. But I am not sure about that because that might have been in the 78 interium never implemented draft ORV plan regs. Even some beaches which had been closed to driving for 25 years, like the south lighthouse beach were briefly opened to ORV use for a season as a result of the ORV orgs. I'll assume ignorance on your part. Do some do diligence research and get back with me.

I do know what I am talking about, have lived on Hatteras Island for 40 years and have close to a 60 year history here. No one could love this place anymore than me.

Your right, there is no doubt that if the conservatives gain the majority in the Sennate the ORV will rule will be brought up again by them.

I

We are talking about CAHA, not PINWR. You can lump the 2 together if you want, no one who manages the 2 places does. Why do I or should I agree to your misunderstanding. PINWR was carved out of CHNS as directed in the EL. There are FWS signs as you enter the Refugee.

The only difference between PINWR and CAHA are lines on a map. Same man-made beach as the rest of the island. Yes it is managed by a different federal agency and strangely uses less restrictive species management then CAHA. Does it matter who manages it? Both provide limited pedestrian access to the seashore...

I am aware of those beaches that the NPS opened that had been historicly closed. I don't agree they should have been opened, there was a good balance. One section where the houses there expected to have VFA beaches as had been done for decades. The decision to open them up was made by the NPS. Blaming the pro access groups for this is ridiculous.

Beachdumb,

It absolutely matters who manages it. The ORV regs never considered PINWR. The ORV groups at the failed regneg were repeatly told that PINWR was not to be considered by goverment lawyers, the Refugee Manager and CAHA 's superintendent. Yes the refugee and seashore beaches are contiguous. You don't get a free pass because they are on the same island. An example of just how different the Park and the Refugee are managed is that you can hunt migratory wildfowl in certain areas of the Seashore whereas no migratory waterfowl hunting is allowed in the Refugee. PINWR beaches are accessed extensively by pedestrians, illustrating just how easily a large part of CHNS beaches could similarly be accessed. Maybe the reason the Refugee is able to manage their ocean beach resources differently is because they don't allow vehicles on their beaches. PINWR is much more strict about night time activities (think you need a permit for night time use)? The refugee is not run by the NPS plain and simple.

You are incorrect about why Frisco and Hatteras Villages have vehicles on those beaches now. At all the regneg meetings and in all the position papers the ORV groups demanded that all the village beaches be made ORV routes open to vehicles from Sept. 16 to May 16. It is positively a direct result of the ORV lobby that vehicles are driving on those beaches in the winter now.

I agree with you that the beaches that had been closed to ORV use should have stayed that way, if they had things possibly could have been quite different, another fundamental mistake made by the ORVers.

It absolutely matters who manages it.

Oh I must be mistaken; I thought that you actually were concerned about your desired 'primitive wilderness' view and access of the man-made beaches of Hatteras Island. Do you have something against using the USFWS managed beaches?

Maybe the reason the Refugee is able to manage their ocean beach resources differently is because they don't allow vehicles on their beaches.

No, I don't think that is it, many of beaches of CAHA no longer allow vehicles also. It is interesting that a Least Tern scrape gets an immediate full beach closure on CAHA but on PINWR beaches they don't do anything. It is the same island beach, same birds, and same VFA beach access. USFWS and NCWRC say their science doesn't require this kind of protection/closures for this species. Are the resource management methods the NPS is using, science based or policy based?

At all the regneg meetings and in all the position papers the ORV groups demanded that all the village beaches be made ORV routes open to vehicles from Sept. 16 to May 16. It is positively a direct result of the ORV lobby that vehicles are driving on those beaches in the winter now.

So? Like had been done historically and in the original management plan, you must remember that all 73 miles used to be ORV accessible with only closures for birds/turtles and safety. I think it was reasonable to use the existing management plan as basis for the new plan. I believe all the village beaches should be only seasonally closed to ORVs, of course except for resource and safety closures.