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Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111 x148
The third deliberate vandalism act of the 2010 season to a shorebird resource protection area has resulted in an expansion of the closure located 0.9 of a mile south of Ramp 4 on Bodie Island Spit in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The vandalism was discovered at 6:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, June 6, 2010, where evidence indicated that an individual had entered the shorebird resource protection area on foot and destroyed symbolic fencing and signs. Approximately four signs and sign posts were found either broken or pulled out of the ground. The one set of foot tracks entered the resource protection area for approximately 15 meters and then exited. There were no vehicle tire tracks inside the protection area. Further investigation revealed that unsuccessful attempts had been made to remove carsonite signs in the surf zone.
The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, the National Park Service (NPS) shall automatically expand the buffers. As a result of the violation, the northern buffer was expanded by 50 meters. The expansion will remain in effect until shorebirds have finished using the area for breeding activities. Under consent decree modifications approved in June 2009, NPS is not required to expand the buffer if information from the public or developed by NPS leads to the apprehension of a violator. If a buffer has been expanded because of vandalism, as is the case here, and subsequent information leads to violator apprehension, NPS may retract the expansion.
NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate this incident. If anyone has information about this violation, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111. Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000.00 fine and up to six months imprisonment.
For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm