As many of my readers know, we have a home in Avon, North Carolina, where we want to retire. Avon is a village on Hatteras Island.
Hatteras Island, including the beaches within the villages, is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, as mandated in 1937 by Congress. It was established in 1953 and dedicated for the “benefit and enjoyment” of the American people.
Now, the National Park service has closed approximately 43 miles of the beaches to off-road vehicles to protect the piping plover and turtles. They have also murdered native animals (such as foxes) for a bird that is not native to the area.
My concern is for the people who make their living on the island. These are our friends. In 2007, the National Park service let the environmentalists control their policies. They started closing off whole areas of the beaches, for the protection of the birds and turtles. Businesses in the area had sales drop almost 30%. Some of the business were barely able to stay open. We know of some that have closed. This directly affects our neighbors. This is where their jobs come from.
Now with the total closing of so many beaches to ORVs, and the addition of visitors having to pay $50 a week for access to those ORV beaches still open, business is going to drop even more. If people can’t get to their favorite fishing spot because of the beach closings, they won’t come to the island for vacation. Hatteras is one of the top fishing beaches on the east coast. But that will be no more.
If a family with kids wants to drive on the beach to be able to haul all the gear and coolers needed for little ones, they’re out of luck. They won’t want to haul all of that, along with dragging the kids, just for an afternoon at the beach. It’s not like there are consession stands where they can get food and drinks. It all has to be hauled. Why would they want to come to the island when there are more accessible beaches elsewhere?
Believe me, I am an animal lover. I just think there is a better way. This island, which was donated to the NPS by the islanders to be a recreational area, is now turning into an animal sanctuary, for animals not even native to the area. Seems as if the Federal Government has breached their contract with the islanders.
I’m asking you today to click on the link below and sign the petition to keep our beaches free and opened. To let them be used for the purpose the Government mandated and the reason all of this land was donated. This petition will be forwarded to Congress in support of the The Preserving Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act. Even non-Americans are signing it, as the island gets tourists from all over the world.