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Cape Hatteras National Seashore Getting Back To Normal After Hurricane Arthur


Life is getting back to normal at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which dodged a bullet when Hurricane Arthur passed through the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Normal operations were returning Saturday to the national seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

Facilities that have returned to normal hours of operation include:

* Wright Brothers National Memorial; the Visitor Center and all grounds

* Fort Raleigh National Historic Site; the Visitor Center, all grounds, but downed trees remain on many of the trails

* Bodie Island Lighthouse and Bodie Island Visitor Center

* Oregon Inlet Campground Ramp 4 is open to Off-Road Vehicle use

* Coquina Beach Bathhouse and Lifeguard operation

* Coquina Beach Off-Road Vehicle Permit office

Many facilities on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island remain closed due to access and electrical needs. A few areas have opened to accommodate visitors already on the islands. Those facilities include:

* Cape Hatteras Buxton Visitor Center and grounds surrounding the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - (the Lighthouse remains closed to climbing)

* Buxton Lighthouse Beach Lifeguard operation

* Hatteras Island Off-Road Vehicle Ramps open include: Ramp 27, 30,38,43,44, 49, 55

* Ocracoke Island Off-Road Vehicle Ramp 70 and south is open

Ocracoke Island received significant wind and water damage from Hurricane Arthur. As of Saturday, the island does not have consistent electrical power. Repairs were ongoing.


Well, I take if those closures to protect bird nests, that brought people to fits were ultimately moot, and that those birds better try again next year.

There were a lot of unfledged chicks that we're negatively impacted.

Birds have evolved to adjust to weather events if there is consistent protected suitable habitat. These kinds of storms often create perfect breeding habitat (sand fan overwashes).

Weather and predation are biggest obstacles for the birds and turtles at CHNSRA, not the purported human disturbance as the NPS wants us to believe.  I don't know if the NPS moved any turtle nests, most wouldn't have survived the hurricanes pounding surf. 


Predation can often be linked to human activity. Feral cats were introduced to HI  and foxes recently either by crossing the OI  bridge or being relocated here.  Raccoons, possums, gulls and crows all problem predators benefit from trash food and fish  bait, increasing their carrying capacity. Watch what happens if you forget to put your bait back in your cooler. Artificial dunes and highway 12 have restricted natural process resulting in reduction of nesting habitat ( sand overwashes). Vehicles on remote beaches flush feeding and resting shorebirds using energy reserves. Birds and turtles have not evolved to deal with these problems year after year but did fine in the past with weather events. 

If the Park moved all the turtle nests and produced more turtles would you be  fine with that?

I think it would be interesting to see a 10 year documentation via photos, etc that shows these zones changing over time.  They could setup 10 different spots, at 10 different locations, and each year document the nesting, the changes in the dunes after storm events etc.  I think it would be a very interesting study.  It's amazing how much any sort of terrain can shift even within a decade. 

Gary, I agree, ecological surveys are extremely valuable. The University of California at Berkeley did a survey of Yosemite back in the early 1900s. Funding was found to re-enact the University survey 100 years later. This was an extremely interesting and productive effort, done over 3 years, resulting in much new information on climate change in the central Sierra and how trees, plants, animals, birds, etc. are adapting to it. Research should be at the forefront of all our ecological restoration efforts. I think we should ask for transparency in these efforts but should support them whole heartedly. The results may change the way us locals have used an area for generations, none of us like to see new restrictions, but the effort will be worth it. 

Unless the ORVers get their way, there are a couple of small (1 1/2  - 2 milea) sections of beach that were designated as vehicle free  under the  NEPA formed ORV rule for CAHA.  2 of these areas have little visitation compared to the adjacient ORV beaches. They would make excellent study sites for exactly what you are describing.  

I say unless because the 3 fishing/ ORV accessing orrganizations are still actively lobbing to reduce or ellimimate as much of the remote VFAs as possible. There is still a bill floating in the Sennate that could do that.

Buxton, the dishonesty of you and your organizations are only bolstering those advocating for more reasonable access. Those that understand the situation are more than disappointed by those that ignore the facts and hide truth. 

You know that there are several VFAs on Hatteras Island and several that existed before the new management plan. Several of these existing VFAs are seasonal. One of those VFAs is 13+ contigous miles of NPS land on the North end of the island. This VFA has not allowed vehicle access for over 40 years. 

This kind of study would be ideal on the Northern end of the island. There is even less visitation in this area, but you don't want acknowledge this because makes the argument that pro-access groups want to eliminate all VFAs not truthful.

As far as the bill in the Senate, I have no hope for it at this time with a Democrat majority and a corrupt president. Unfortunatley, he has already said he would not support similar bills.

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