And he said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The future of the Outer Banks of North Carolina is at stake.
That sentence is not hyperbole.  First link to and read this:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area

Pay attention to those last two words.  "Recreational Area."  This is important.

Island Free Press Editorial about the new restrictions

I am very upset by this new law.  Read this in-depth article on the Island Free Press website for more details.  In a nutshell, the Enviro-wackos have taken over the beaches.  What has been a right for all has now become an expensive privilege that only a few will be able to do.  And that is, drive on and enjoy the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  It's a shame.  And it's a travesty.  It shows how much power the left has attained in this country, and that individual rights no longer matter.  The Outer Banks beaches were given to the Park Service long ago, under the condition that ALL would be able to enjoy and appreciate them.  This is the latest step the leftists have taken to ensure that eventually NOBODY will be there.  Yet, ironically the original name of the park left no doubt as to what the intentions were to those who gave up their ownership of the shoreline to the government so that All could enjoy the beaches.  And suddenly, it has become very elitist and almost non-existent.  So much for the "common man or woman" being able to enjoy a day at the beach.
The "Graveyard of the Atlantic" for ships, may very well become the same for  tourism....

Now the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be like any other beach that restricts access.  And so consequently, it will not be any different from any other beach; and I suspect that tourism on the OBX will drop drastically.  And the OBX economy will suffer tremendously.  And that is just not right... or fair.

Virginian Pilot Article About CHNS(RA) Restrictions/Fees

Anyone who has ever been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina has immediately understood the attraction of what makes these Barrier Islands unique from others around the country.  Not the least of which, has been the freedom to be able to drive on the beach in certain areas, so that you can sunbathe, swim, surf or fish in relative peace and quiet, while having the comfort of your vehicle and your belongings nearby.  While there is always 1% of the population that will take advantage of ANY right, without question, the majority of the people who love and live on the Outer Banks are good stewards of the beautiful natural resource that is the Carolina beaches.  Somehow both man and nature have survived for generations just fine, until 2007, when the National Audobon Society decided to raise a stink about what had been a non-issue.

Now the piping plover, (which ironically seem to breed more successfully when people are around, so that feral cats and other egg/chick eaters don't invade) the oyster catcher, and various other non-endangered birds will have these beautiful beaches more and more to themselves.  And so will sea turtles.
Such a cute little bird, that has caused such a great deal of ugly controversy....
Don't get me wrong.  I love animals, and truly am a good steward of all of God's creation.  I believe the best thing we can do is ensure that all of nature is around for future generations.  But there are limits as to what extremes we need to go to, to ensure these beautiful creatures' survival.

For the record, I don't have a problem with there being some sort of "Fee", tax, cost, whatever you want to call it, to drive on the beach.  Other National Parks charge an "entrance fee", so why shouldn't the CHNSRA.  (You could make the argument that Teddy Roosevelt created the "National Park" so that ALL people could enjoy the natural beauty of these United States, therefore there should be NO fee for any of them.... but I grant that that may now be unrealistic with today's population.)

But $150/year, to me, seems extreme... especially since this is the first time they are implementing the fee.  Also, there need to be more exceptions made to those who aren't able and privileged enough to enjoy a "year's worth" of being on North Carolina's Outer Banks.  Daily, weekly and monthly options should all be available.... At reasonable costs -- especially to out-of-towners, you know, "tourists"... i.e. those that drive the economy of vacation areas with their dollars....

Also, making all permit buyers watch a video (once) is fine, especially if they have never driven on the beach before... That has been the case for hunters for years, that new ones must pass a course; but only making the video available at three locations, and not having it accessible on line is ridiculous -- especially in this age.  Come on, are you serious?  The only reason I can think that this has been implemented, is because they want beach access even more restricted, because people won't be able to go to the locations to watch the video in the first place.  It will create inconvenience and long lines, that will only discourage more potential vacationers.  So put the damn thing online, already....  After all, isn't that why Al Gore invented the internet?  So that everybody could have access to information and education?  (Sorry, I guess I'm getting fired up....)
So is Al....
Then, the fact that the permit follows the vehicle and not the driver?  That doesn't seem to make sense either.  If I've bought a permit and watched the video, but before the weekend I plan to go to the OBX my SUV breaks down, and I take my wife's or my son's, or neighbor's, I need to have a permit for any of those vehicles, even though I've paid and seen the video.

And the flip side of that is,... what if I have a brand new 16 year old driver who takes my SUV down to the beach.  It has the permit on it, and therefore this driver may never get questioned about whether he/she is able/allowed to drive on the beach.  And that's not right, either.  There are just too many variables about driving on the beach.

I believe the permit should follow the driver, not the vehicle.  Let the National Park Service check the driver's permits, not just assume the permitted vehicle is being driven by the driver who watched some seven minute video to learn the ropes.

Personally, I've been driving on the beach for over 26 years.  I've seen it all.  But I would be willing to watch whatever video the NPS wants me to see, if it means I may still continue to do so.  As I've stated, I want our natural resources to be around for my children, their children, and so on; and I recognize that there are more people now, and that wildlife may be feeling pressure in certain areas.  But I also realize that in many areas, wildlife is doing just fine with the encroachment of man.  And I'm not just talking about the brown pelicans that I have interacted with the last two Boys' Weekends.

I have literally had piping plovers run around and through my legs, with no fear.  Yet the snakes, foxes or feral cats that feast on their young and their eggs will have nothing to do with me.  They stay faaaarrrr away when "man" is around.  So in a bizarre way, "man" is a piping plover's best friend -- especially because these birds don't build protective nests; they just lay their eggs in the sand and watch them -- hoping the camouflaged eggs don't get detected by the aforementioned predators.

You could make the statement that Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory would mean that these birds that have never learned to disguise or cover their nests and young deserve whatever fate they get.  But I won't go that far; because the OBX is not even one of the piping plover's primary nesting habitats.  So come on, if a penguin came and nested on the Hamptons would the NPS declare those beaches off limits?  (OK, that's extreme, but you get my point....)
"I'm sorry everyone, you have to leave the beach.  Happy Feet has nested here.  And we don't want any drama."

And sea turtles?  The females beach at night, bury their eggs in holes, cover them up, then return to the sea.  When nests are discovered, they are marked off, and a perimeter is established so that the nests are undisturbed by humans.  (Ironically, those that disturb turtles and turtle nests the most are those that "want to help them".  The "rules" don't seem to apply to them.)

Yes, I know they only want to "help" the turtles.  And I'm all for that.  But most people leave them all alone, altogether.
Having perimeters that are off limits, and restricting (head)light usage, especially when you are nearing the time of the hatchings is understandable.  But there is no need to restrict a huge area.  Anybody who knows baby sea turtles knows that they hatch, dig out of the sand, and head towards the "light' of the ocean at night.  It's pretty much a straight shot.  You don't have to have a quarter mile off limits around a nest.  Just several yards around it, and the path to the ocean.  Seagulls, foxes and the aforementioned other predators will be happy to pick off any of the other unfortunate (Darwinian) hatchlings that don't have the common sense to head straight to sea.  And yes, I am aware that that is why there must not be any unnatural light near the nests....

So, what does all this mean?  It means that left wing nut jobs are running and ruining this country, by taking away our rights and privileges.  I'm no right wing extremist nut job.  I see that as our population grows, we need to take into consideration what must be done to allow nature to continue to thrive.  But what these laws have done is destroy an economy, and ultimately a way of life.  And THAT is neither right, nor fair.  So please, let your voice be heard regarding these measures.  For what may ultimately become extinct, are our rights, and a culture that has made the Outer Banks the paradise that millions think they are.

Thank you.

Until next time,

Fish ON!  (If you can....)

("The above opinion IS that of the management of this blog....")

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