Update on ORV Planning Process
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
Superintendent Mike Murray is providing the following updates related to the interim protected species management strategy/environmental assessment (EA), long-term ORV management plan/environmental impact statement (EIS), and the proposed negotiated rulemaking (RegNeg) process.
The National Park Service (NPS) is working on completion of the decision document for the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy/EA. The NPS goal is to have this completed by the end of January.
On December 11, 2006, NPS published a Notice of Intent to develop the ORV management plan/EIS in the Federal Register to officially open the public scoping period. NPS is in the process of finalizing plans to hold public scoping meetings the last week of February. We will send out more information about these meetings (dates, times and locations) when the details are finalized.
NPS has also drafted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee. The NOI is under review in Washington and once it is published in the Federal Register it will formally open the public comment period about the NPS proposal to use the negotiated rulemaking (RegNeg) process to develop an ORV regulation and about the proposed participants. NPS will notify the public once this NOI is published.
On December 18, 2006, Defenders of Wildlife issued a 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) for violations of the Endangered Species Act in connection with the FWS Biological Opinion and NPS Interim Protected Species Management Strategy/EA. A copy of the NOI to Sue is posted on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore parkplanning PEPC website and can be reached at the following address:
NPS will continue to work toward the establishment of a negotiated rulemaking committee. Comments or concerns about the effect, if any, of the NOI to Sue on the negotiated rulemaking or about the proposed participants may be submitted during the public comment period for the Notice of Intent to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee when it is published.
The first collaborative workshop for proposed Negotiated Rulemaking participants will be held Thursday - Friday, February 8-9, 2007, at the Roanoke Island College of the Albemarle campus (former Manteo Middle School across from the Chesley Mall) on Old Hwy. 64 in Manteo. The two-day workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, then from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday. On Thursday, please park in the parking lot at the south end of the building and meet at 9:00 a.m. in the auditorium at the same end of the building. The workshop is open to the public.
"We are making progress and will continue to move forward with developing an ORV management plan and regulation," said Superintendent Murray. "I appreciate the intense public and stakeholder interest in these issues and look forward to their continued participation in the planning and negotiated rulemaking processes."
Did You Know?
In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern. It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.