Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement from her office in Washington this afternoon:
"Yesterday, the House passed a bill that will preserve the access rights of visitors to the beautiful coastline along Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I am proud to have joined in co-sponsoring this important bill and would like to thank my colleagues for their work in its passage. This bill protects different species in the area while still allowing residents and visitors to freely enjoy North Carolina's shoreline. We need to allow taxpayers to have recreational access to Cape Hatteras as it was originally intended, and I am proud to join Congressman Jones in making sure this is accomplished."
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4094 - the "Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act" as part of the larger Conservation and Economic Growth Act. This legislation will restore reasonable pedestrian and motorized access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. The bill - of which Congresswoman Ellmers was a co-sponsor - would overturn a final rule implemented by the National Park Service (NPS) in February, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court approved Consent Decree.
H.R. 4094 would reinstitute the Park Service's 2007 Interim Management Strategy (IMS) to govern visitor access and species protection in the Recreational Area. The Interim Strategy was backed up by a 113-page Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which found that it would not jeopardize the species of concern, namely piping plover and sea turtles.