Posted by Outer Banks Blue

No Consenus Reached on Beach Access

The committee tasked with assisting the National Park Service in the development of a long term management plan governing beach access in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area has failed to reach consensus and has adjourned. The committee, which includes 29 members selected by the National Park Service and representing various stakeholder organizations, has been meeting routinely since 2007 to reach unanimous consensus for a preferred alternative to manage the country's first National Seashore, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, located on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

It was hoped this final meeting of the group would produce a consensus agreement, but in the end varying interests were unwilling to compromise to a point where consensus could be reached and deadlock was the only achievement of the committee.

After the final committee meeting, Dare County Commissioner Chairman Warren Judge looked to the future. "Although we are very disappointed with the outcome of the negotiated rulemaking," he said, "We cannot give up. Our residents, visitors and business community all depend on open and accessible beaches." Judge added, "We urge people everywhere to stay involved in the issue through websites such as"

Management of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area is currently under a consent decree resulting from a lawsuit filed by the Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center. The consent decree remains in effect until 2011 when the long term management plan becomes effective, unless legislation introduced in Congress returns control of the area to the Interim Management Plan of the National Park Service (House Bill 718).

Outer Banks Blue urges all interested parties to visit to see how you can get involved in the effort of returning conscientious access to our beaches to all citizens.
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