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Status Report: NPS ORV Management Planning Project 4/24/2015
Written by Frank   


OBPA

Outer Banks Preservation Association

Post Office Box 1355

Buxton, North Carolina 27920

Status Report:  NPS ORV Management Planning Project  4/24/2015

On April 13, 2015 we announced that CHAPA's recommendations regarding changes to the Resource Management Program required by the new law were sent to the Superintendent for his consideration.  Since that communication, two additional events of which you should be aware have occurred.

1.      North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Provides Input to NPS in Accordance with Section 3057 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act

On April 15, 2015 Gordon Myers, Executive Director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission  provided information to the National Park Service (NPS) which included buffer and corridor and management practices  recommendations regarding North Carolina state species of concern, sea turtles and piping plovers at the Seashore.  This action was taken to help NPS fulfill the requirement of the new law that "...appropriate buffer protections for species not listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973..., but that are identified for protection under State law" be determined after coordinating with the State.

CHAPA supports the  NCWRC recommendations  (click on link to read) and believe they provide sound  direction to NPS for the management of buffers and corridors in a manner that will balance resource protection and pedestrian / ORV access at the Seashore in a way that is consistent with the intent of the law.  We urge you to read this document.  You will find that the recommendations provided to NPS by CHAPA are consistent with those developed by NCRWC.

2.      4/22/2015 NPS Update - Infrastructure Projects Priorities Set and Public Meetings Announced

On April 22, 2015, Superintendent David Hallac provided an ORV Management Plan Update for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. (Click on link to read.)  The update provided information of which you need to be aware.

•             Reprioritization of Construction Projects

The Park Service has reprioritized and expedited the schedule of projects identified in the 2010 ORV Management Plan to emphasize projects that provide ORV and pedestrian access.

This action complies with  the section of the law titled "Construction of New Vehicle Access Points"  which states that new vehicle access points and roads should be constructed "...as expeditiously as practicable; and...in accordance with applicable management plans for the National Seashore."  CHAPA priorities were sent to the Superintendent on March 5.  Following distribution, we met with the Superintendent and members of his staff to discuss.

CHAPA supports the projects and prioritizations announced by Superintendent Hallac and believe they will provide valuable improvements to access at the Seashore as intended.  We believe these projects are an appropriate use of the ORV fees which are collected at the Seashore, but we continue to urge the Park Service to seek cost effective solutions as it moves forward with these projects.

The project name and original and expedited schedules are in the table below:

Project Original Start / Completion Date              Expedited Start / Completion

New ORV Ramp 25 with boardwalk to the beach              2013 / 2014         Completed

Ramp 25 - New 10 Car Parking    2013 / 2014         Spring, 2015

New ORV Ramp 32 (Little Kinnakeet) with a 10-car parking lot and foot trail to the beach             2014 / 2015         2015

A new unpaved interdunal road between Ramps 45 and 49         2017 / 2018         2015 / 2015

A new ORV Ramp 63 across from Scrag Cedar Road on Ocracoke                2016 / 2017         2015 / 2016

A new ORV Ramp 48       2018/2018           2015/2016

•             Public Meetings to Present  Proposed Actions to Modify Wildlife Buffers and Corridors

Superintendent Hallac also announced that five public meetings have been scheduled for the week of May 4, 2015 at which information about the NPS proposed actions with regard to the modification of wildlife buffers and corridors as required by the new law.

Meetings have been scheduled as follows:

Monday, May 4

Ocracoke, North Carolina

Ocracoke School, 1 Schoolhouse Road, Ocracoke, NC  27920

6 PM to 8 PM

Tuesday, May 5

Buxton, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras Secondary School, 48576 Hwy 12, Buxton, NC  27920

6 PM to 8 PM

Wednesday, May 6

Raleigh, North Carolina

NC State University Campus

McKimmon Conference and Training Center, 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC  27695

6 PM to 8 PM

Thursday, May 7

Hampton/ Norfolk, Virginia

Embassy Suites Hampton Roads, 1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA  23666

6 PM to 8 PM

Friday, May 8

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC  27949

6 PM to 8 PM

Specifically, the law requires the National Park Service (NPS) to review and adjust Wildlife Protection Buffers by June 19, 2015.  This section of the law requires that "...buffers are of the shortest duration and cover the smallest area necessary to protect a species, as determined in accordance with peer-reviewed scientific data; and... designate pedestrian and vehicle corridors around areas of the Nations Seashore closed because of wildlife buffers, to allow access to areas that are open."

CHAPA's recommendations were sent to the Superintendent for his consideration on April 10, 2015.  We believe the recommendations offered can be implemented with minimal disruption to the NPS resource management processes already in place at the Seashore.  We also believe our recommendations will balance resource protection and pedestrian / ORV access at the Seashore in a way that is consistent with the intent of the law.

What You Should Do:

We ask you all to keep informed, to participate in the public meetings, and to make the Park Service aware of your reaction to their actions over the coming weeks and months as the law is implemented. Public participation and input remain critical to the success of achieving our goals of more reasonable pedestrian and ORV access within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

We will advise you when the NPS publishes their proposals for changes to buffers and corridors.  In addition to following our communications, we urge you to visit the NPS webpage titled   "2015 National Defense Authorization Act Actions Update" and to visit www.IslandFreePress.org  to stay current with the latest information.

John Couch

President, OBPA

Visit www.obpa.org for the most current information on Free and Open Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2015 19:42
 
NPS Resource Management, Milage Report & OBPA ramp by Ramp Report for April 21,2015
Written by Frank   


Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Resource Management Field Summary for April 21,2015

*All numbers are preliminary and the data will be reviewed before they are finalized.*



Piping Plover Summary:


Location

# Nests to Date

# Active Nests

# Active Broods

# Fledglings

Bodie Island

0

0

0

0

Cape Point

1

1

0

0

South Beach

1

1

0

0

North Ocracoke

1

1

0

0

South Ocracoke

0

0

0

0

Total

3

3

0

0


Wilson’s Plover Summary:


Location

# Nests to Date

# Active Nests

# Active Broods

# Fledglings

Bodie Island

0

0

0

0

Cape Point

0

0

0

0

South Beach

0

0

0

0

North Ocracoke

0

0

0

0

South Ocracoke

0

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0

0


American Oystercatcher Summary:


Location

# Pairs

# Nests to Date

# Active Nests

# Active Broods

# Fledglings

Bodie Island

1

1

1

0

0

Green Island

1

1

1

0

0

Hatteras Island

7

7

7

0

0

Ocracoke Island

1

1

1

0

0

Total

10

10

10

0

0


Colonial Waterbirds:


Location

# Active Colonies to Date

# Currently Active Colonies

Bodie Island

0

0

Green Island

0

0

Hatteras Island

0

0

Ocracoke Island

0

0

Total

0

0


Sea Turtle Nests and False Crawls:


Location

# Nests to Date

# Active Nests

# Active Broods

# Fledglings

Bodie Island

0

0

0

0

Cape Point

0

0

0

0

South Beach

0

0

0

0

North Ocracoke

0

0

0

0

South Ocracoke

0

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0

0

Summary Mileage Table –

As of 4/21/2015

Bodie Island Area 5.74

Open to ORVs 2.19

Temporarily Closed for Resource Protection 0.20

Open to Pedestrians 3.35

Hatteras Island 40.46

Open to ORVs 11.68

Temporarily Closed for Resource Protection 5.49

Open to Pedestrians 23.29

Ocracoke Island 17.87

Open to ORVs 10.40

Temporarily Closed for Resource Protection 2..06

Open to Pedestrians 5.40

Total Ocean & Inlet Shoreline 64.07

Total Miles Open to ORVs 24.27

Total Miles Temporarily Closed for Resource Protection 7.75

Total Miles Open to Pedestrians (Only) 32.05

Total Miles Open to Pedestrians (Includes ORV areas) 56.32

Open To Sum of Mileage

Ramp Accessibility –

As of 5/7/2014

Ramp Open To:

ORVs                                     Pedestrians

01                           No                                           Yes

02                           No                                           Yes

04                          Yes                                          Yes

23                            No                                          Yes

27                           Yes                                        Yes

30                           Yes                                        Yes

34                             No                                         Yes

38                           Yes                                         Yes

43                           Yes                                         Yes

44                           Yes                                         Yes

45                           No                                          Yes

49                           Yes                                        Yes

55                           Yes                                         Yes

59                           Yes                                        Yes

67                           Yes                                         Yes

68                           No                                           Yes

70                           Yes                                         Yes

72                           Yes                                         Yes

Ramp by Ramp open access for ORV traffic (Updated 05/8/2014)

(Bodie Island Total-2.2 miles open)

Ramp 4 NORTH                                           1.85 mi. OPEN

Ramp 4 South                                               .35    mi. open

(Hatteras Total –11.05 miles open)

Ramp 23                                              CLOSED Til 11-1-15

Ramp 25 North                                            .12 miles open

Ramp 25 South                                      .75 miles open

Ramp 27North                                           1.25 MILES open

Ramp 27 to Ramp 30                                      CLOSED

Ramp 30 South                                           2.30 miles open  

Ramp 34  to Ramp 38                           CLOSED Til 11-1-15

Ramp 38 South                                           1.6 miles open

Ramp 43                                      CUL-DA-SAC .10 MILES OPEN

Ramp 44 SOUTH                 .53 OPEN TO SOUTH OF NARROWS

CAPE POINT -                                               CLOSED

Ramp 45                                                     CLOSED

Ramp 49 East                                              1.7 miles open

Ramp 49 West to Frisco Village Line               1.1 miles open

Ramp 55 West beach shoreline                      1.6 miles open

Ramp 55 Interdunal (Pole) Road with small sound-side access behind Coast Guard Base, Spur Road and Cable Crossing but this is not beach access                                       2.9 miles open

Ocracoke Total – 10.18miles open

Ramp 59 North                                                 CLOSED

Ramp 59 South                                                 4.53 miles open

Ramp 67 North                                                  1.0 miles open

Ramp 67 South                                                 0.7 miles open

Ramp 68                                                   CLOSED\

Ramp 70 North                                                  0.4 miles

Ramp 70 TO RAMP 72                                         1.7 miles open

Ramp 72 South                                                   1.85 miles open

These are rough numbers only.  Some of these miles are too narrow to drive safely.

TOTAL ORV ACCESS CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE

23.43 MILES OPEN

Per NPS Google Map!!!!!!!!!



Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2015 19:40
 
CHAPA Recommendations to NPS for Changes to Resource Management Program4/10/2015
Written by Frank   

The changes accompanying the letter below are what I consider a very professional input to the NPS for the first phase of implimentation of the newly passed legislation NPS must consider. The first part of implementated changes must be in place by June 15, 2015 and more requirements must be answered by 12 months of passage of the bill. I am sure that the same professional input and dedicated work that went into the this first document will be forth coming over the next months as they consider the rest of the requirements NPS will be answering. 

Some of you that read this may have had misgivings about CHAPA and OBPA in the past but the work behind the scenes onpassage of the legislation and now what you see in the document and its attachments below just prove how dedicated and determined the group has been for the benefit of so many.

I can honestly say that I know these individuals personally and have the utmost respect and appreciation for what they have accomplished over the last several years.



 
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