JONES INTRODUCES BILL TO RESTORE ACCESS TO CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE RECREATIONAL AREA

Feb 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) introduced H.R. 4094, legislation that would restore reasonable pedestrian and motorized access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  The bill would overturn a final rule implemented by the National Park Service (NPS) two weeks ago, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court approved Consent Decree.  Both the Rule and the Consent Decree excessively restrict human access to the Recreational Area.  The bill would reinstitute the Park Service’s 2007 Interim Management Strategy (IMS) to govern visitor access and species protection in the Recreational Area.  The Interim Strategy was backed up by a 113-page Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which found that it would not jeopardize the species of concern, namely piping plover and sea turtles.  H.R. 4094 has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee for further consideration. 

“The federal government needs to remember that Cape Hatteras was established to be a recreational area for the American people,” said Congressman Jones.  “But taxpayers can’t recreate without access to the beach.  The goal of management ought to be a balanced approach between visitor access and species protection.  The Final Rule falls short of that goal.  The Interim Strategy comes much closer to hitting the target.”