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Public Meetings on Alternative Options for the Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan/EIS for Cape Lookout National Seashore

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Date: March 28, 2008
Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005

Harkers Island, N.C.-- The National Park Service and Cape Lookout National Seashore would like to invite the public to comment on proposed alternative elements/options for the Cape Lookout National Seashore Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) using the NPS-provided Alternatives Elements/Options Workbook.   

Three public meetings will be held to explain how the alternative elements/options workbook fits into the ORV Management Plan/EIS process. 

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Monday, April 7, 2008

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Beaufort, NC

Duke Marine Lab, Pivers Island         

135 Duke Marine Lab Road   

Beaufort, North Carolina  28516         

 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Raleigh, NC

McKimmon Center                   

North CarolinaStateUniversity        

1101 Gorman Street

Raleigh, North Carolina  27695

 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Charlotte Metro Area, NC

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

8181 Concord Mills Blvd.

Concord, North Carolina  28027

 

There are a number of ways to be involved:

  • Attend a public information meeting on Alternative Elements/Options for the ORV Management Plan/EIS. (See schedule of meetings above -- Directions are available at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CALO.)

 

  • Obtain and review an electronic copy of the Alternative Elements/Options Workbooks on-line on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CALO.

 

  • Comment on the Alternatives Elements/Options using the workbook:
    • If submitting your comments electronically**: You can download the workbook, complete the workbook on the computer and email the workbook file as an attachment to: 

                       caloorveis@louisberger.com, or

  • If you wish to mail your comments: You can download and print the workbook, write in your comments and mail the workbook to:

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Attn: Wouter Ketel

131 Charles Street

Harkers Island, NC 28531

 

* *(faxed comments will not be accepted.)

 

Alternative Elements/Options Workbooks

 

In September of 2007, the NPS held public scoping meetings to gain public input on the plan’s proposed purpose, need, objectives, and issues, which will serve as the framework in developing the plan. During the public scoping process, the public provided comments on the purpose, need, and objectives and also suggested potential management actions the NPS could implement at the Seashore. The NPS considered these suggested management actions and has compiled this information, along with its own ideas, into potential alternative elements/options presented in the Alternative Elements/Options Workbooks. The purpose of this workbook is to obtain comments on draft alternative elements/options for managing ORV use at the Seashore.

 

The various elements/options in the workbook are not intended to be all inclusive, nor necessarily always compatible or mutually exclusive. Multiple compatible elements/options will be considered in combination later to develop a diverse range of management alternatives for evaluation in the Draft Long-term ORV Management Plan/EIS. Public input is an essential component of a successful management plan and it is important to us that you provide your opinion on the potential effectiveness of the alternative elements/options and suggest elements/options of your own.

 

Why is the ORV Plan/EIS Needed?

 

The purpose of the ORV Management Plan/EIS at Cape Lookout National Seashore is to manage ORV use in compliance with the Seashore’s enabling legislation, NPS management policies, and other laws and regulations to ensure protection of the natural, cultural, and recreational values of the Seashore’s dynamic coastal barrier island environment for present and future generations. An ORV management plan is needed to:

 

  • Comply with Executive Orders 11644 and 11989 regarding ORV use, and with NPS laws, regulations (such as 36 CFR 4.10), and policies to minimize impacts to Seashore resources and values.
  • Establish an approved plan incorporating public input that reduces the potential for inconsistent management of ORV use, user conflicts, and safety concerns. 
  • Provide for sustainable recreational use. 
  • Protect natural and cultural resources from potential effects of ORV use. 
  • Provide for protected species management in relation to ORV and other uses that replaces the Cape Lookout National Seashore Interim Protected Species Management Plan/EA and associated Biological Opinion.

 

Background on ORV Driving at Cape LookoutNational Seashore

 

Off-road vehicle (ORV) management has become an issue of concern for National Park Service (NPS) units in recent years, as shown by the development of management plans and regulations for Cape Cod National Seashore, Fire Island National Seashore, Assateague Island National Seashore, Padre Island National Seashore, and Big Cypress National Preserve. ORV use at Cape Lookout predates establishment of the Seashore and by many accounts is considered a “traditional use.” Beginning in the 1940s, vehicles were transported to the banks by shallow draft ferries. Vehicles were used on the Seashore to provide access to productive commercial and recreational fishing spots and for other recreational pursuits such as sightseeing and camping. Today, the only access to these barrier islands for vehicles remains from concession-operated shallow draft ferries. Pedestrians can access the Seashore by passenger ferries and private vessels. Presently ORVs are used primarily to facilitate access to the Seashore beaches for recreational fishing and camping and to a lesser extent sightseeing and beach driving.

 

Seashore staff recognizes the importance of ORV access to Seashore users as well as the value users place upon Seashore resources that must be protected. The ORV management Plan/EIS will identify criteria to designate ORV use areas and routes and establish ORV management practices and procedures that have the ability to adapt in response to changes in the Seashore’s dynamic physical and biological environment.

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