Today Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3) reintroduced H.R. 819 - the Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act. The bill is tentatively scheduled for a hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on March 14th. Congressman Jones introduced the bill in the last Congress and it passed the House of Representatives, but the Senate version failed to make it out of committee.
"This bill is about jobs and the taxpayers' right to access the recreational areas they own," said Jones. "It's about restoring balance and common sense to Park Service management. I would like to thank the Natural Resources Committee for scheduling a hearing and for doing what is right for the people of Eastern North Carolina."
H.R. 819 would overturn a final rule implemented by the National Park Service (NPS) in mid-February 2012, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court approved Consent Decree. Both the Rule and the Consent Decree excessively restrict human access to the Recreational Area. The bill 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.