May 16, 2013 - 2:25 PM
Senator Burr Statement on Committee Action on Cape Hatteras Off-Road Vehicle Bill
U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement after Sen. Ron
Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
committed to consider the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act
during the committee’s June mark-up.
“I am pleased that Chairman Wyden committed to giving this important bill
its proper consideration before the committee,” Senator Burr said.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure its passage into
law. I applaud Congressman Walter Jones and the House Committee on
Natural Resources for their swift passage of the House companion bill.”
If enacted, this bill would reinstate the Interim Management Strategy
governing off-road vehicle use on Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) and
set aside current mandates and requirements that prevent off-road vehicle (ORV)
and citizen access to a significant portion of this National Seashore.
In December 2005, the NPS began the negotiation process to create
regulations that would allow CHNS to meet its compliance standards, and in June
2007, an Interim Management Strategy was implemented to provide a framework for
regulating the CHNS while the NPS developed its long-term plan. This Interim
Management Strategy allowed for controlled ORV access to the CHNS. However, on
July 17, 2007, an injunction was filed by the Defenders of Wildlife and the
National Audubon Society to prevent ORV use until a final management plan is
established and approved by NPS. A settlement negotiation process ensued, and
on April 30, 2008, a federal judge approved a consent decree that required all
seashore ramps to be closed to ORVs from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., created buffers
that are in some cases more restrictive, and ruled that deliberate violations
of the buffers would result in an expanded restricted area. In February 2012,
the NPS implemented final rules, requiring that ORVs must obtain permits to
access the CHNS, further limiting the accessibility of the park to vehicles.
||Senator Burr Statement on Committee Action on Cape Hatteras Off-Road Vehicle Bill