Hatteras march protests new beach access rules

By on March 20, 2012

A crowd of about 100 was on hand for the “Defend Freedom March” held in Buxton Tuesday.

The march was organized to protest beach closures, which are now a part of the National Park Service plan for managing off-road vehicle and pedestrian access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The controversy dates back to the Nixon Administration when the Department of Interior ordered all national parks with beach access to devise off-road vehicle plans.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore never did over the course of almost two decades, a situation that has caused fingers to be pointed at several players.

The issue was brought to a head four years ago during a negotiated regulatory meeting among some two-dozen “stakeholders.” In the midst of the so called “Neg-Reg” meetings, two parties — the Audubon Society and the Defenders of Wildlife –filed suit in federal court, hiring the services of the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Judge Terrence Boyle of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a temporary order which significantly reduced access to the beach during the prime tourist and fishing season in the summer.

Both Dare and Hyde County officials signed on to the deal out of fear the judge would totally block access to all NPS beaches if they refused.

The “Neg-Reg” process grinded on and was never able to reach a consensus.

The Park Service entered new regulations into the Federal register on Feb. 15, 2012. The rules restrict significant portions of the beach from ORV and pedestrian use while introducing a fee of $50 a week or $120 annually for vehicles when they are able to access NPS beaches.

Park service officials state the new rules represent a fair compromise between environmental concerns and recreational users of the beaches. Local residents, business concerns and politicians claim the NPS came down heavy on the side of the environmental groups and used flawed science in determining the new access guidelines.

Today’s rally, while small, was infused with frustration over what Hatteras residents see as both a broken promise by the federal government to keep their beaches open for recreation and a threat to their livelihoods.

Unlike the northern beaches, access to most Hatteras beaches requires an ORV, and the local tourism industry is built around ORV use by beach-goers, anglers and surfers.

Kim Mosher, a Hatteras-based artist and designer, noted that while Audubon spent thousands of dollars in legal fees to close the beaches, they haven’t been present on the island since the order.

Mosher lamented the lack of compromise from a group such as Audubon, noting that the organization could have used its resources to develop university-based research groups and others to use the island as a place for study as well as to educate the public.

“How can the public learn about nature” when “access to nature is blocked”? she asked. A friend standing nearby said children will no longer be able to observe oyster skimmers and other birds working the beach.

An old timer who had been fishing the beach for over 70 years pointed out the lack of young people on weekends fishing in the surf. Now “they go to bars” for beer specials. “Before the new rules, the beaches would be filled with local young teens and young adults having a ball fishing.”

Bobby Eakes of Red Drum Tackle in Buxton questioned the science, especially since the observations and recommendations came from the U.S. Geological Survey.

“How many biologists do you think the U.S.G.S. has? I bet none.”

The marchers assembled at the Cape Point entrance and marched to the beach area down Lighthouse Road.


Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

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The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

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All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

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