This post is long overdue and I apologize for the delay in writing it. I've been wrestling with fact-checking my information before posting and making sure I have the right personal perspective before launching a campaign that only gets smeared because of my hostile attitude towards Judge Boyle. Having said that, this still may be controversial, but that's as may be.
Some of you are aware that on June 11th, 2008, members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation introduced House of Representatives bill 6233 and Senate bill 3113 before congress. Some of you are unaware why this is important. Others are having their judgement clouded by poor journalistic skills on the behalf of the News and Observer and the Virginian Pilot. Still others just aren't sure what's going on. Let's recap again:
I have written three prior articles related to this situation. They are:
- February 20, 2008: Injunction To Stop Beach Driving, ORV Access, and ruin the Outer Banks of NC
- April 06, 2008: Federal Injunction: Judge Terrence Boyle Leaves Us In Limbo on ORV Issue, but its not looking good.
- May 11, 2008: Vandalism of Resource Protection Closure Signs Results in Expansion of Buffer
In short these are first my plea not to try to close our beaches, my further plea to Judge Boyle to keep his nose out of where it doesn't belong, and my final post was an "I told you so, you jackass" (even though it didn't say that) in response to what happened after he made his ridiculously poor ruling.
The Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon Societies, while still in negotiated rulemaking processes, decided to try and end-run around the negotiations procedure and try to close the beaches of OBX by taking the matter straight to a federal judge and basically saying "We're too inept to make our point in negotiations, so can you please handle this, Daddy?" First off, what kind of scum-bag organizations pretend to be negotiating on an issue of this magnitude all the while trying to poise the knife at the unwitting throat of their opponent? I thought we reserved that kind of behavior for Corporate America, not preservation societies!
Judge Boyle, continuing in his pattern of abject stupidity, walked into court one morning this year and said in open court (and I'm paraphrasing here) "You two sort it out or I'm going to vote to support the Defenders of Wildlife in their decision to destroy your beaches!" What did the attorneys for the state say? Nothing. What did the defense attorneys for the Federal government say? Nothing. In fact, no one who was "authorized" to speak had anything to say on the matter. So, in the utmost haste, the DoW agrees to meet with the interested parties to try to come to some negotiation... WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THE POINT? The Judge just said openly that he was going to rule in your favor! Why in the hell even waste our time with this pretense of negotiation?
What was the conclusion? If you still don't know, just stop reading now and go beat your head against a wall. Of COURSE Judge Terrence Boyle ruled in favor of the DoW and Audubon and closed our beaches!
Thankfully, since this has happened, members of organizations dedicated to protecting our rights screamed, petitioned, begged, rallied, and in general made such a ruckus that now Senator Elizabeth Dole, (who originally voted to put Boyle in office ) [See footnote 1] and Senator Richard Burr have filed a motion to have this Consent Decree repealed and to have the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Area restored to the Interim Management Plan that existed before Judge Boyle stepped his big foot all over our economy, our way of life, and our rights granted under Congress in 1937 when the park was given to us! (Notice I said US, not the piping plover or any other animal? Here's my unfettered opinion on the Piping Plover: Screw that little bird and all the MILLIONS of dollars it has cost PEOPLE for two birds to be born this year!)
*calming down... see why I didn't write this earlier?*
What happens when the beaches go back to how they were? It's real simple. Life returns to normal for the beaches of North Carolina and its people are happy once again.
I'm going to put this out there for those of you who want to throw the "You Were Warned" card in my face: Over 35 years ago, President Nixon ordered the National Park Service (NPS) to implement a plan to manage access to the beaches while at the same time keeping consideration for the wildlife. No one did it. OH MY GOD, SOMEONE DIDN'T DO WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID!! That was over three decades ago people! Only recently has the NPS tried to handle this and implement a plan. Why only recently? Because the people BEFORE Mike Murray didn't give enough of a damn to preserve our beaches! However, Mike Murray has done an AMAZING job of managing the plan he's put into effect on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This is a man who actually WORKS for a living!
When Defenders of Wildlife have a problem with people accessing the beaches because they are disrupting a nesting area, Mr. Murray drives out onto the beach and examines the problem himself. Sometimes he agrees and he has a perimeter established to protect the nesting area. Other times, as is his right, he disagrees for whatever reasons motivate him and the affected area remains open to the public.
When the Beach Access Organizations (OBPA, NCBBA, CHAPA, and others) have a problem, they call Mike Murray. They might say "Sir, this part of the beach is closed for no good reason" or voice whatever complaint they have. At that time, Mr. Murray again goes out to the area, evaluates the area himself and decides "Yes dear citizen, you're right!" He makes a phone call and voila the beaches are opened. Other times he tells them "Well, there happens to be a nest of turtles over that dune that we're protecting during their nesting cycle, so unfortunately I can't open this stretch of beach yet. Sorry." Guess what? We acquiesce and accept his judgement. This is what he's there for. Even the beach organizations agree that while he doesn't always rule in their favor on access issues, he is indeed fair handed with his careful consideration of the impact of either closing or opening a certain stretch of seashore. This method, outlined above, is known as the "interim plan".. the plan we use in the "interim" until the Negotiated Rulemaking has had time to A) Negotiate and B) Make a rule. (see why it's called Negotiated Rulemaking?)
The Consent Decree Destroyed Negotiated Rulemaking
Much like when Judge Boyle made his massive mistake by issuing his opinion that he was going to rule in favor of the DoW during the court session, the Negotiated Rulemaking process has suffered similarly during the Consent Decree . Here's how negotiated rulemaking worked in each scenario:
Netogiated Rulemaking Under the Interim Management plan:
Us: We want the beaches open to people.
Them: We want to save some birds...
Us: We'll agree to close sections A,B and C of the seashore until (insert date here) to protecting the nesting habitats of your endangered species of bird, plant, whatever.
Them: Fine. We'll agree to leave you sections D, E, and F all year round and to open up A, B, and C again once the nesting season is over.
(Then they back and forth about it all for all the related sections of seashore as concerns arise.)
Seems like it makes sense, right?
Netogiated Rulemaking Under the Consent Decree:
Us: We want the beaches open to people.
Them: We don't have to give you shit. We already won. We're not agreeing to anything. In fact, we're not going to say ANYTHING at all!
Us: Ok, um, well, can we discuss item A?
Them: We're not talking to you. Daddy Boyle said we have to show up, not that we have to participate....
Us: Ok, um, well, can we discuss item B?
Them: Still not talking to you.... la la la la la la
This LITERALLY happened! Ever since the Consent Decree, the Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon people have arrived to the meeting and not discussed ONE THING. They don't have to! They already won. Why the hell would any judge smart enough to pour piss from a boot ruin the negotiating process by putting all the power in the hands of one side while then stating "This is going to stay in effect until you kids agree on something!"... Guess what, Your Highness? They don't have to agree! You already ruled in their favor, you freaking idiot! (Can you get in trouble for calling a federal judge an idiot? IDIOT!)
It got so bad that select members of the Negotiations committed had to file a petition to have some of the Defenders of Wildlife members removed from the rulemaking process because they refused to negotiate or to even discuss anything! They just sat there wasting everyone's time.
What was the impact?
The impact of the Consent Decree is so extreme that hotels on the beach have had to lay off staff for the first time in their lives! Come on people! Can you imagine a small economy that survives through the winter solely on the money it makes during the summer months being hit so hard that not only can they not afford to hire all the tourist college kids that come visit us each year, but they are even laying off locals! That has never happened! EVER on the outer banks! EVER!!!
Who's buying Ice for their coolers? Nobody.. they can't walk on the beach for most of our 69 mile seashore!
Who's buying beach t-shirts from the local stores? Nobody.. they can't get to the beach to enjoy it, so they stayed home!
Who's buying hotel rooms? Nobody. They'll go to Myrtle or Atlantic Beach instead, where they can enjoy the BEACH!
Who's eating in the restaurants that give all the locals their jobs? No one.. they're not here this year!
Who's fishing at the billfish capital of the world this year? No one! It's not worth it to us to come down and spend $700.00 per person for a boat trip when we can't do anything else on the beach now, so we're going to Myrtle Beach with the guys above!
You get it people? Tourism, Restaurants, Hotels, Retail Sales, Amusement Parks, Realty, construction, tourist services, fishing.. all negatively affected by the fact that this judge is an idiot!
Here is a quote I found from a local hotel owner on the Outer Banks:
I am a motel owner ,family owned and operated for 52 years. The economic impact this beach closure has had on us has been detrimental . Our business is off 65 % from the past 5 years. People have called and canceled reservations who have been coming here for 30 years. If they cannot enjoy the beach they do not want to come here. Another five months of this I can honestly say we will probably have to close our doors after 52 years. This is a sad state of affairs when a bird not even native to this area has precedent over a human being and their livelihoods. (Source: [See Footnote 4])
The Virginian Pilot shares their opinion:
I'm going to quote their article,available online here: http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/orv-fight-no-place-congress. I'm really glad the papers decided to FINALLY pick up the stories but I'm not so enthused at how they massacre the facts and portray the "us" side as a bunch of rednecks in ford trucks.
ORV fight is no place for Congress
© June 16, 2008
A CONSENT decree establishing protections for vulnerable species of birds and sea turtles on the Outer Banks may need tweaking, but it's a job best left to the National Park Service, islanders and conservationists - not Congress. (You're in Virginia you twits! You hate your beach so much that you come to ours instead, so what the hell would you know about NC beaches?)
On Wednesday, three North Carolina Republicans - U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones - introduced bills that would scuttle a court agreement reached by environmentalists, a local coalition of off-road vehicle users, federal park officials and others in April. ( I want to draw attention to the word "Court Agreement." There was no agreement. Agreement is defined as" the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises;" according the University of Princeton. What exactly was the "exchange of promises" in this process? I, Judge Boyle, agree to ruin your OBX economy for two birds (yeah, that's how many have been saved this year so far!) and you agree that I'm a federal judge (read as turd) and there's nothing you can do about it.)
The agreement, approved by a federal judge, settled a lawsuit filed by the National Audubon Society and the Defenders of Wildlife to set up temporary boundaries around wildlife nesting areas.
Critics contend the new rules are too restrictive; to a degree, they have a point. When U.S. District Judge Terence Boyle signed off on the deal, few anticipated that acts of vandalism would threaten to undermine the fragile compromise. (Few anticipated? Few? You really are dense! Wow. "Hey, we're gonna close your beaches. You don't need 'em! There's only a hundred thousand or so dissenting... only a few.. no big deal... Just a few...")
On separate occasions, someone has knocked down fences and signs around protected areas, triggering automatic expansions of areas off-limits to ORVs and pedestrians. We've argued that those expansions should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The legislation proposed by Dole, Burr and Jones goes much further - and too far. They're asking for reinstatement of a weaker interim plan that prompted the lawsuit by environmentalists.
The consent decree isn't popular with some island residents and visitors, including people who've engaged in a longstanding Outer Banks tradition of driving up to the shoreline and casting a fishing line. But the boundaries aren't onerous, and they're designed to change as shorebirds and sea turtles come and go.
According to a National Park Service report dated June 5, approximately 12 miles of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park were closed because of the consent decree. Another 32 miles were off-limits because of safety or seasonal closures. But ORV drivers still had access to 22 miles, and pedestrians were free to roam roughly 55 miles more, according to the Park Service report. (They never mention that you can't get to half of those 22 miles because the only access ramps happen to be in the CLOSED parts! And Ooh.. 55 more miles of beach? Really? Exactly what 55 miles of OCEAN are you referring to.. we don't have enough beach for your math to work you idiot! 12 miles + 32 miles + 22 miles + 55 miles = THE BEACH ISN'T THAT LONG YOU IDIOT!)
Environmentalists say they're already seeing benefits. After years of declines in nesting, the number of breeding pairs of piping plovers has increased by at least one and the number of breeding pairs of American oystercatchers has risen by 11. (Holy freakin batshit! We've saved ONE BIRD. Nationally the Plovers numbers are up, not down & on the Atlantic coast the Piping Plover numbers have increased from 790 pairs in 1986 to 1,386 pairs in 1999 (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service). Also according to this document: http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/ppl/ "Overall winter numbers were very high..." & "Breeding season numbers also appear higher than 2001 in general" [See footnote 2]).
The restrictions are undoubtedly an inconvenience for people accustomed to driving on the beach nearly anywhere they pleased.( You completely forget the mention the other economies affected and choose to say it's an "inconvenience for people".. wow, you dense idiot. Nice representation of the facts there, Shakespeare!)
But the facts remain that (1) President Nixon ordered the National Park Service to institute a management plan for off-road vehicles at the seashore park more than 35 years ago, and (2) a long-overdue interim plan, belatedly set in place last summer, was insufficient to protect the park's wildlife. ( So, why don't you and everyone go blame the retired people who didn't do as told, not the ones who are working VERY HARD to clean up the messes left by others in the past, kind of like the next reporter is going to have to do after you're fired over reader backlash!)
Under terms of the consent decree, the Park Service has until Dec. 31, 2010, to adopt a long-term management plan. At the agency's Internet site, officials say they hope to work with residents and conservationists to find a way to end "decades of conflict and uncertainty" over ORV use and wildlife management at the park.
It's difficult to envision how Congress could wade into these murky waters and improve the situation. (No it's not. Congress would be doing exactly what everyone who has been directly affected by this catastrophic lack of good judgement has been begging them to do. Isn't that why we elect congress? )
The legislation introduced Wednesday is a political response to a political controversy. The management plan is better left where Judge Boyle wisely placed it - in the hands of National Park Service scientists, islanders and conservationists (Holy crap! You did NOT just say that Judge Boyle placed control in the hands of the park service! He did not! He DECREED what would be closed, how it would be closed, and what each and every response was to closure. He placed it in the hands of himself! Real nice journalistic integriry there! Way not to present your opinion and instead represent the facts! )
The News and Observer Share their Opinion too:
In another example of nothing good coming from Virginia, here's some more sensational work by a newspaper in regards to the topic. In an article titled "Drive On?" located at: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/story/1108607.html, here's what they had to say.
The threatened piping plovers of Cape Hatteras National Seashore already face lots of obstacles to breeding and survival. Now add three more: North Carolina's two U.S. senators, Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole, plus U.S. Rep. Walter Jones. (Piping Plovers are NOT native to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area.)
The congressional trio has ridden to the rescue of beach-driving surf fishermen at the National Seashore. The anglers are irked at the recent court settlement between environmental groups and the U.S. Park Service. That pact has closed off their access to several miles of beach, some of it prime fishing territory. (I like the use of Beach Driving Surf Fishermen... that's who you really think is affected by this?)
Fishermen vote, shorebirds don't. Dole, Burr and Jones introduced bills Wednesday to reinstate what's called the Interim Management Strategy governing off-road vehicle use. If enacted, their bills would nullify the consent decree presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle (a fellow Republican). (Fisherman vote, shorebirds don't? Did you think of that all on your own? Do me a favor: Go stand over there *points* beside the editor from the Pilot Online so I can shoot you both with the same bullet. I'd hate to waste two on your collective idiocy)
This is serious stuff, asking Congress to circumvent a court settlement that was concurred in by pro-beach-access organizations. And reverting to the interim strategy is unlikely to nurture healthy colonies of plovers and other imperiled birds. They don't stand a chance against the hundreds of vehicles that flocked to the shore under that plan. (What the hell are you talking about? Please enlighten us all on exactly who of the "pro-beach-access" organizations concurred with this? Please name just one of them. Just one! Check your damned facts!)
In fairness, beach closures, which affect walkers as well as drivers, have been more extensive than some environmentalists predicted. Time and patience could resolve that, as nesting season ebbs and the Park Service reopens areas. The right course, supported by law and science, is to protect nature while allowing as much access as is reasonably possible. The Dole-Burr-Jones plan fails to do so.
All rights reserved. (Guess what? When the nesting season ends, tourist season ends.. it's called Summer! Then everyone who pays us to be here goes home and we have no economy left to speak of! And actually the "right course" is for the government to leave it as it was intended, as a "recreation area" for humans. Just because it is a national seashore makes it fall under the same jurisdiction does NOT make it a state park. It's not a wildlife preserve and it's not a state park! It's the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area!)
This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner (Or what???)
Who else thinks Judge Boyle is an idiot?
Apparently the Fourth Circuit Court does too... read on
Overview of Judge Terrence Boyle’s Record
Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Examples from Judge Boyle’s Record:
Gender Discrimination. Judge Boyle twice refused to approve a settlement involving
gender discrimination in hiring and promotions practices by the North Carolina Department of
Corrections. The Fourth Circuit ultimately ordered him to approve the settlement, in an opinion
highly critical of how he handled the case. In another case, Judge Boyle dismissed a sexual
harassment case, concluding that the plaintiff was unreasonable for not filing a complaint given
that the company manual included a sexual harassment policy. He paid little attention to the
surrounding facts, such as the company’s alleged history of not believing staff complaints, or
whether the company’s harassment policy was communicated effectively. The mere existence of
a policy on paper, without more, should not be enough to justify dismissal of the entire case.
Race Discrimination. Judge Boyle dismissed the claim of an African American health
technician who sued her employer, the state of North Carolina, for racial discrimination after she
was dismissed from her job. The Fourth Circuit summarily reversed his decision, rejecting Judge
Boyle’s apparent view that the state was immune from suit.
Age Discrimination. Judge Boyle dismissed an age discrimination complaint because
the plaintiff failed to attach the official letter allowing him to file suit, even though the letter had
been submitted with an earlier filing. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit reversed, finding that Judge
Boyle should have allowed plaintiff to amend the complaint by simply attaching the letter.
Voting Rights. Judge Boyle was reversed twice by the Supreme Court for rejecting a
North Carolina congressional district drawn to have a population that was approximately half
African-American. In both cases, he was criticized for failing to extend proper deference to the
Disability rights. Judge Boyle tried to limit the reach of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, the law that protects disabled workers from discrimination. While “disability” is defined in
the law to cover impairments that substantially limit major life activities, such as walking or
working, he refused to include working as a major life activity. The Fourth Circuit expressly
rejected this conclusion, and criticized Judge Boyle’s eagerness to defer to the employer’s
business expertise in determining a reasonable accommodation of a disability.
As these and other alarming examples demonstrate, Judge Boyle’s elevation to the Fourth Circuit
would put many critical women’s rights and civil rights protections at risk. We urge the United
States Senate to reject his nomination
You want the full details? [See Footnote 3]
What Can I Do To Help?
Complaining about unfair treatment and improper press coverage is one thing, but it does nothing to actually remedy the problem. It was the large public outcry from individuals that got this issue the attention it needed from Senators and that was a good thing. Now it needs support from Congress and YOU are who elects congress. It's up to everyone (including you reading this) to take a few moments to make sure your congressperson knows how you stand on this issue. This is no longer a North Carolina Senate issue. It has been brought before congress and now lies in limbo awaiting the consensus of those in power to affect the decision. There are lots of web sites out there right now who are offering to tell people how to help out. I'll list a few below for your convenience. Use them. Contact your congressperson and make your voice heard on this issue!
To thank Senators Dole and Burr for their support of this critical issue:
Senator Elizabeth Dole (R- NC)
Senator Richard Burr (R- NC)
Write Your Congressmen: (and ask their support for HR 6233 & S 3113)
Write Your Senators: (and ask their support for HR 6233 & S 3113)
Other Sites who are trying to help:
Many others are fighting this issue as well. If you would like to read more about what others are saying themselves, please do. Check out the forums. See how locals are crying out to get help to save their businesses, their economies, and their way of life.
- Island Free Press:
- Red Drum Tackle Forums:
- Cape Hatteras Access Prevention Alliance (C.H.A.P.A.)
- United Mobile Sportfishermen
- North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA)
- Sign the Petition (sponsored by CHAPA)
- Cape Hatteras Ocracoke Beach Access Issues Forum
Thanks Gene Mueller (Washington Times)
My thanks to someone for writing an editorial that doesn't make it sound like a bunch of rednecks are just pissed off because can't four wheel any more! Take a moment to read the editorial: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jun/18/lawmakers-aim-to-aid-seashore-access/
1) Senator Dole Votes for Boyle:
STATEMENTS BY SELECTED SUPPORTERS OF JUDGE TERRENCE W. BOYLE
The Honorable Elizabeth Dole, United States Senator, Washington, D.C.
"Those of us who know Judge Boyle appreciate his intellect, even-handedness and record of distinguished service on the district court. A former North Carolina Democratic Party chair said, ‘I think he would happily rule against me and happily rule for me whether I’m a Republican or Democrat. I think he makes his decisions on the facts, and that’s the best we could ever hope.’
I believe Judge Boyle deserves to be confirmed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Most importantly, however, he deserves an up or down vote." (April 28, 2005)
Source: White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/judicialnominees/boyle.html
2) Citation for Quote:
I took the factual part of this quote from: Privitization of Cape Hatteras beaches is unconstitutional, available at: http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/orv-fight-no-place-congress#comment-621904
3) More Info on Boyle:
4) Local Motel Owner Shares their Opinion
Source material can be found at: http://savehatteras.forumandco.com/cape-hatteras-seashore-beach-access-it-will-affect-everyone-f1/economic-impact-t180.htm