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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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Judge Boyle is still with us and more on the transition period, speed limits, beach fires, and rentals

Friday 24 February 2012 at 5:45 pm

In a status conference today in Raleigh, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle kept in place a consent decree that settled a lawsuit against the National Park Service over its lack of an off-road vehicle plan and its management of protected species.

The consent decree was set to expire on Feb. 15, the day that the Park Service’s ORV plan and final rule for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore became effective.

At the conference today, Boyle said he would keep the consent decree in place for 120 days and meet again with the parties in June to assess the status of a lawsuit by beach access groups to stop the ORV plan and final rule.

That lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia by the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance.

Meanwhile, though the consent decree remains, the seashore is still operating under its final ORV management plan and special regulation.

Boyle apparently wants to be sure that if a court rules in favor of CHAPA, that there is still a consent decree to fall back on.

So, Judge Boyle is neither gone nor forgotten.

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One more time with Judge Boyle, soundside access, and other ORV plan info

Friday 17 February 2012 at 4:03 pm

Federal District Judge Terrence Boyle has scheduled a status conference on the consent decree that settled a lawsuit over off-road vehicle use at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for Friday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in Raleigh.

Boyle scheduled the conference on Jan. 27 – before the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) filed suit against the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, and the seashore to stop the final ORV management plan and special regulation.

The seashore issued its annual resource and law enforcement reports for 2011 at the end of January, and each year, Boyle, who has overseen the consent decree, has summoned the parties to his court to discuss the reports.

Past status conferences have been fairly brief, with seashore superintendent Mike Murray answering the judge’s questions about the report and the judge asking lawyers for the Southern Environmental Law Center if they were satisfied with the progress protecting nesting birds and turtles at the seashore.

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Final ORV rule will be still be effective Feb. 15 – with a few more details on fees and permits

Friday 10 February 2012 at 7:14 pm

The National Park Service said today that the final off-road vehicle regulation and management will still be effective on Wednesday, Feb. 15, despite a lawsuit that beach access groups filed yesterday to stop it.

The Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) filed the complaint yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in an effort to stop the Park Service from implementing its plan and rule.

CHAPA is a project of the Outer Banks Preservation Association, a group dedicated to preserving and protecting the historical use of the beach on the Outer Banks and specifically the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (CHNSRA).

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