National Park Service News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DATE May 11, 2008
CONTACT: 252-473-2111, ext. 148
Vandalism of Resource Protection Closure Signs Results in Expansion of Buffer
Vandalism of symbolic fencing marking a shorebird closure in the South Beach area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore was discovered early Saturday morning. Approximately 1.7 miles east of Ramp 49, a park ranger patrolling the area discovered and documented twelve posts with “Area Closed” signs broken off at the sand line and several carsonite closure markers pulled out at the shoreline. During the investigation, two sets of footprints were found along the edge of the fence line that extended from the dunes to the waters edge. No footprints or tire tracks were observed entering the closed area which was established to protect a least tern colony; no birds appeared to have been disturbed during the act of vandalism. As prescribed in the court ordered Consent Decree, this closure violation resulted in a mandatory expansion of the closure area by 50 meters to the west.
The recent court approved Consent Decree related to shorebird and sea turtle protection at the Seashore requires the National Park Service to automatically expand the closure area by 50 meters if a confirmed deliberate act disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants. Park staff documented the site and expanded the closure as ordered in the Consent Decree.
Superintendent Mike Murray reiterated the need for all parties to meet the Consent Decree requirements. “I urge everyone to consider that future acts of intentional vandalism to resource protection areas will result in greater expansion of the buffers. These expansions are not discretionary under the Consent Decree,” stated Murray.
For more information about closures at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and visitor opportunities, visit the park’s webpage at www.nps.gov/caha.
END OF LETTER
This letter was forwarded to me today from President Jim Keene of the National Beach Buggy Organization, a preservation society dedicated to allowing humans to enjoy the riches of nature on the coast of North Carolina. Some of you know about the injunction that was filed recently and the ruling by judge Terrence Boyle regarding the beaches. I won't get into it all again here, but you can search this blog for ORV if you want to see the related posts.
Here's what I have to say to the rednecks who decided to go against the judges orders and try to publicize their point by destroying the federal signs: "Stop it you freaking idiots, before they close our beaches entirely!" Part of the consent decree put in place to keep some of our beaches open to us includes coverage for stupid stunts like this. Basically, when you destroy the signs and break the laws protecting these wildlife enclosures (as stupid as they may be in some cases) the boundary will get enlarged by 50 more meters. So, when you screw up and do stuff like this, you're ruining it for the rest of us who would like to have SOME of our beaches left to come home to!