More on the Memorial Day weekend - Shooting The Breeze

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The Weekend Report | Home | More ramp closures pu…

More on the Memorial Day weekend

Friday 29 May 2009 at 3:08 pm. After I posted my May 26 report on the Memorial Day weekend, I got comments – online and in conversations -- that are worth noting.

Several of the folks who commented agreed that the weather was beautiful and the beaches were not overly crowded.  However, they think the beaches aren’t crowded because there are not as many visitors on the islands.

That could be correct, but it’s hard to tell now.

A check of the Web sites of the major rental companies on the island shows that all are offering hundreds of “specials” right through the summer season when the companies have had bookings of close to 100 percent in the past.

One rental company executive told me 10 or 15 years ago that “you could rent a rock on Hatteras Island” in July.

Well, this year, you apparently will not have to settle for a “rock.”  There are discounts on many cottages, and most of them seem to be the larger, pricier places.  Some of the discounts are $1,000 a week or more in the prime, mid-summer season. Occupancy tax rates will tell the story when the season ends.  All renters of overnight accommodations – in cottages, motels, hotels, and campgrounds – pay an occupancy tax to the county. It’s a reliable indicator of the health of the rental economy.

Last year, gross occupancy tax receipts in Dare County showed a 2.92 percent increase over 2007.  

However, the gross receipts on Hatteras Island were down considerably, especially in Buxton.  There is more on this in my May 1 blog, “Buxton takes a beating from beach closures.”

Last year, it was difficult to tell how much of the beating was because of beach closures and how much was because of high gas prices.  This year it will be difficult again. Will summer occupancy be down? And will it be because of beach closures or the generally terrible economy?

For the first two months of this year, occupancy taxes are up by just over 3 percent for the county.  However, it will be months from now before that picture is complete.   How did the county fare through the prime season and how did Hatteras Island compare?

It seems obvious to me if the county does decently, as it did last year, but Hatteras Island is down as much as it was last year, then we can say that beach closures in the seashore played a significant role in keeping visitors away.

I have heard that rental companies, as well as motels and campgrounds, are looking at a better fall season.  That’s when bird closures will be lifted and night driving will be allowed with a permit.

For more thoughts on the Memorial Day weekend, you should look at “Dr. Mike Berry’s To the Point Blog.”

Berry is a frequent contributor to The Island Free Press, who has written often on beach access issues.  He attended most meetings of the negotiated rulemaking committee, keeps up with park and access issues, and has researched the science that is driving the conflict over ORV access to the park.

Berry is not a gadfly when it comes to access issues.  He has the experience to speak authoritatively on both science and government process and transparency.

After serving as an Army officer in Vietnam in the 1960s, Berry returned to civilian life. He earned a doctorate in public health and worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where, as a senior manager and scientist, he served as the Deputy Director of the National Center for Environmental Assessment at Research Triangle Park, N.C. During his 28-year career with EPA, he had extensive interactions with environmental organizations, local governments, the federal courts, U.S. Congress, universities worldwide, and institutions, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He is currently a writer and research adviser, specializing in the evaluation of environmental quality and human health effects, environmental management strategies, and policy for small communities.

Berry started his blog earlier this month to write more about beach access, government process, and environmentalism.

About the Memorial Day weekend, he wrote:

“Memorial Day weekend at the national seashore was blessed with perfect weather. Unfortunately, over 70 percent of the seashore was inaccessible to the public.  Those who made it to the beach, this second year of the consent decree, made the most of a less than desirable situation.  Nevertheless, there were many complaints and much unhappiness on the part of local residents, business people, and long time visitors.”

Berry then proceeds to detail nine specific actions that the public can take to regain and preserve access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

While you are on his site, check out his blog on “Getting to the Point – It’s About Justice.”

33 comments

Salvo Jimmy

You have to be careful a bit when looking at occupancy tax. For example all the reduced price specials can drop the tax over last year but at the same time could actually increase occupancy over last year.

It’s certainly an indicator but not solid. Last year for example actual occupancy could have been down and the small % increase in the tax due to higher prices over the previous year.

It’s just not an either or thing.

Salvo Jimmy - 29-05-’09 18:08
Frank and Fran\'s

More on Memorial Day weekend
We are about to complete the Month of may and Easter and Memorial Day for both 2008 and 2009 are behind us. Frank and Fran’s had about a 15 % loss of business in 2008 for the year. In 2009 fear set in when the first three months business was down almost 60 percent, but with Easter in March in 2008 and April in 2009 the outlook was not as bad. In check out 2009 to date we find that again we are lagging behind 2009 by five percent in sales and almost 10 percent in fishing license sales. The one bright spot this spring was a big influx of Kite Surfing folks visiting the area. This influx is greatly due to the highly publicity give the Triple S competition that begins today and continues through June 5 hosted by Real Kites in Rodanthe. This spectator friendly competition has brought over 15 of the world’s best Kite Boarders to our island. And yes, Frank and Fran’s can say they have seen some of the Canadian visitors enjoying a try at fishing while they or their companions have come here to wind surf and kite surf.

Frank and Fran\'s (Email ) - 30-05-’09 12:24
Mark Johnson

Hi

I’ve been following your blog and the Red Drum Forum for a week or so. My wife and I honeymooned at Buxton 10 years ago and decided to make the trek from Georgia again this year (next week). We’re sorry to hear about all the conflict surrounding the beach closings and we are determined to come there and have a good time. Thanks for all the info.

Mark Johnson (Email ) - 01-06-’09 10:33
observer

Irene, where is Dr. Berry coming up with that 70% closed statistic? That can’t be right. Maybe 70% closed to ORVs but surely not to all public access, at least according to NPS. You need to truth check some of these statements.

observer - 01-06-’09 13:43
Dr Mike Berry

The truth is, access denial is more like 75% for all practical purposes.

Technically, some healthy members of the public can park along HWY 12 trek over fragile dunes, or risk wading the surf to the Point and other remote sports. NPS and environmental groups are counting these which is a complete misrepresentation of reasonable access.

The average visitor cannot afford high rents and do not easily have beach access in the villages.

So what’s left—look at a map or check out the seashore the way I did. There is limited beach of less than 9 miles in front of 7 ramps. There are very few crossovers and there limited parking.

Please do not challenge my analysis let alone my "truthfullness" until you at least hear my assumptions and my first hand accounts.

I sat in an hour long meeting with NPS officals on May 23, where the 70% closure number was mention more than once with no contradiction from NPS officials.

Personally I getting fed up with NPS and environmental litigants trying to project a story that the seashore is open and these closure are limited when they are extensive. In fact the closures are unnecessary from an environmental management point of view and are a public disgrace in that public was never given opportunity to fully understand the facts and comment on the current restrictions.

Please feel free to identify yourself “Observer.”

Dr Mike Berry (Email ) - 01-06-’09 19:04
Renee Tomberlin

This is the first summer since 1986 that we have not made a reservation for a week, or for the last 10 years, 2 weeks. We cannot afford to spend the money it involves to stay our regular two weeks without being able to get to the beaches where we can catch good amounts of fish. We might make a spur of the moment weekend run to charter fish but probably won’t even pack the surf fishing equipment. We hope to be able to make a trip in the fall when the restrictions are lifted.

Bravo to you, Dr. Berry. I have been following your writings for years and have a lot of respect for your opinions and your willingness to stand up for them.

Renee Tomberlin (Email ) - 01-06-’09 20:30
Salvo Jimmy

And to add to Dr Berry’s info, NPS and the environs also don’t mention that what is included in the closures is now ALL, repeat ALL, of the most desirable recreational spots within the Seashore.

It’s like saying come on to Bush Gardens and failing to say that the 6 or 7 most popular attractions are closed. Or come on to Yellowstone and failing to say Old Faithful, Yellowstone River Canyon and Lower Falls are closed.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-06-’09 09:44
Observer

So let me get this straight. To get to this alleged 70% figure, Dr. Berry wants to count all village beaches as closed and any other area where he can’t drive as essenbtially closed. And he’s obviously not counting Ocracoke either. That’s ridiculous. His beef is with the county and villages for failing to provide appropriate pass throughs and parking in the villages. Perhaps his advocacy might be directed there?

And I’ll tell you what makes me fed up. It’s Dr. Berry pretending to be a biologist, which he is not, and making sweeping unsupported generalizations about what is and is not good science. He has no idea whether the closures are necessary from a scientific point of view. He’s never done a lick of original research on this in his life, and clearly has no idea what is peer reviewed or not. He’s obviously never read the scientific literature on beach nesting birds. As for public comment, there was ample public comment on the interim plan, and NPS still adopted an illegal plan. All the public comment in the world can’t change that.

All sides agreed to the present compromise. It will last one more year. There will be more opportunity for public comment on the final rule when the proposal is released this fall. Dr. Berry and others can then spout off to their hearts content. But first it helps to read the science and understand the law to be taken seriously.

Observer (Email ) - 02-06-’09 09:45
Observer

Actually, Salvo J. The lighthouse beach and Coquina beach are the most popular spots on the seashore. And they’re very much open. Not everyone surf fishes.

Observer (Email ) - 02-06-’09 09:47
Susan

Bravo Dr Berry thank you for telling the truth All you have to do is ride to the beach and see how much is closed I thought compromise means to give and take not give up all the beach and take more of the beach.

Susan (Email ) - 02-06-’09 10:34
Dr Mike Berry

Observer, nice try but pretty lame.

I’ll be glad to show you my research CV anytime, just let me know who you are.

As for the bird studies, I’ve read over 70 now and conclude that the majority of them are flawed in terms of scientific method. Their misrepresentation and unbridled application gives science a very bad name.

The only thing illegal about the last public comment opportunity was the fact we did not get to have one, thanks to the likes of you. Read the Administrative Procedures Act, I think public comment and review is still the law.

I hope we can meet face to face sometime, maybe next year in a public hearing, assuming of course they are still the law federal government follows.

As for your consent decree, what a disaster—that’s why we have open public reviews before implementation of environmental policy. Obviously that’s a concept you fail to grasp.

Dr Mike Berry

Dr Mike Berry (Email ) - 02-06-’09 15:27
Observer

Its not my consent decree, but I do support it and any other effort to protect natural resources on our national parks. I do not need to see your CV. I know it does not contain any research on piping plovers or shorebirds. I also know that the piping plover recovery plan and USGS protocols were reviewed by the best shorebird scientists in America, which as we have already ascertained you are not. The APA, of course, has no bearing whatsoever, on litigation. The interim plan was not a final rule and did not need to be modified through notice and comment rulemaking. Perhaps you might also consult a legal expert before opining on the law, which you also don’t know. I don’t mean to be personal, but you hold yourself out as an expert and people look up to you. And the fact is you don’t know a blessed thing about bird biology or the law.

Observer - 02-06-’09 16:21
Salvo Jimmy

Observ (anonymity) er,

Yep, not everyone surf fishes and surf fishing is not even close to all the recreation that happens at the inlet spits, Ramp 23 area, Ramp 34 area, Cape Point and South beach.

BTW I will no longer respond to anonymity. If you can’t identify yourself you have less credibility than you give Dr Berry credit for. Anyone with absolutely no knowledge of anything can make the statements you have. No ID, no credibility.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-06-’09 16:48
Mark Johnson

“That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man”

Ned

“Fill your hand you sumanabeech”!

Rooster Cogburn

Mark Johnson (Email ) - 02-06-’09 17:40
<span class='registered'>OBXTraveler</span>

Observer,

Here is what I know about Dr. Berry:

“Dr. Michael A. Berry served as an Army officer in Vietnam in the 1960s. After returning to civilian life, he earned a doctorate in public health and worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where, as a senior manager and scientist, he served as the Deputy Director of National Center for Environmental Assessment at Research Triangle Park, N.C. During his 28-year career with EPA, he had extensive interactions with environmental organizations, local governments, the federal courts, U.S. Congress, universities worldwide, and institutions, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. For more than 20 years, Dr. Berry taught public health, environmental science and management, and business and environment courses at the University of North Carolina. He is currently a writer and research adviser, specializing in the evaluation of environmental quality and human health effects, environmental management strategies and policy for small communities.”

The only thing I felt I learned about you from reading your posts is that you call yourself ‘Observer’ and you seem to me to be preoccupied with attacking Dr Berry. Besides that, I really didn’t see where you contributed very much in the way of citing specifics – your own credentials, links to studies you mention, links to peer review scientists you mention, etc. – to support your own arguments and positions , as Dr. Berry has done to support his arguments and positions in his gust columns in the IFP.

So considering the above, I think I will continue to listen to what Dr. Berry has to say.

OBXTraveler - 02-06-’09 20:42
Salvo Jimmy

One last comment on an Observ(anonymity)er statement.

[quote]I also know that the piping plover recovery plan and USGS protocols were reviewed by the best shorebird scientists in America, which as we have already ascertained you are not. [unquote]

I’ll stand by a public comment I made at Reg-Neg. Went something like this:

As the former skipper of a nuclear powered sub that was nuclear weapons capable, I sure was glad the best scientist in America backing me up were just a tad (tongue in cheek) better than what I saw trotted out at Reg-Neg.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 03-06-’09 07:11
Salvo Jimmy

OBXTraveler

You hit the nail on the head.

Without similar info as available for Dr Berry, it’s hard to determine where Observ (anonymity) er fits on the credibility scale between World Renown Ornithologist to Ignoramus.

I have found that engaging anonymous persons in controversy over the net is more often than not a waste of time and effort. Thety are basically best just ignored.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 03-06-’09 11:25
Observer

You are all welcome to attack me rather than attempt to refute what I have said. I suppose that’s because it cannot be refuted. Berry has no qualifications on the issues on which he is opining. He has qualifications on many other things, but they are beside the point. I think people need to focus a little less on who is saying what, and rather on what they are saying.

Observer (Email ) - 03-06-’09 13:47
<span class='registered'>OBXTraveler</span>

"You are all welcome to attack me rather than attempt to refute what I have said."

You haven’t actually provided many facts to refute. Just your opinion mainly, and you are certainly entitled to that, just as Dr. Berry and everyone else is.

But I am curious why you seem to insist that the only scientific studies or opinions relevant to excluding the public from large portions of a major national park must come from the very narrow disciple of shorebird biology.

There are many more issues evolved here than just the welfare of shorebirds. The welfare of the surrounding communities and their economies immediately come to mind and certainly there must be many other issues to consider.

It seems to me the well rounded and extensive scientific background of Dr. Berry would surely outweigh the very narrow disciple of Ornithology in this complex issue.

Which brings me to my final question, why has shorebird biology been put forth as the only valid pivot issue in deciding what portions of a major national public recreational park to shut down? And why has this one single issue been allowed to trump even the welfare and freedoms of the general public?

OBXTraveler - 03-06-’09 16:12
Salvo Jimmy

“Berry has no qualifications on the issues on which he is opining.”

And you do?? And just how do we know that since you remain Anonymous???

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 04-06-’09 08:06
Observer

The answer is simple, OBXtraveler — it is because the Supreme Court held that the Endangered Species Act is “designed to prevent the loss of any endangered species, regardless of the cost.” Furthermore, the NPS Organic Act also requires no cost benefit analysis — it prioritizes protection of natural resources over recreation whenever there is a conflict. So, yes, species protection and natural resource protection trumps. You may not like it, you may disagree with it, but its the law.

Observer - 04-06-’09 13:39
Mike Berry

Observer
I have studied and implemented federal environmental law since 1970. I have taught environmental law, and I have written environmental laws. I know federal environmental law as well as most environmental lawyers. Environmental law was never argued as part of the consent decree—it was all about the failure of NPS bureaucrats to write and promulgate an ORV management plan that they had over 30 years to put together.

The federal judge invited the SELC suite in his written opinion about a traffic ticket and his concern over public safety. It was never about birds or the provisions of the Organic Act or Endangered Species Act.

There was no oral testimony form witnesses and no examination of the so called science based USGS Protocols used as the basis for closure distances.

In the end. the law will be what a federal judge, not you ,says its is- The public will have its day in court, hopefully before a competent federal judge. We’ll see you there, that is if we can identify you.

Observer, you are coming close to slandering me. Keep it up and you will see what I know about the law.

Dr Mike Berry
Chapel Hill

Mike Berry (Email ) - 04-06-’09 15:38
Observer

Dr. Berry, please, I am simply pointing out that you are neither a lawyer nor an ornithologist. A true statement as far as I know. Am I wrong? Environmental management is a broad and diverse field. Does your professional experience include endangered species act compliance or public land management? I don’t mean to belabor the point. Nor am I trying to cause offense. In fact, this should not be a debate about qualifications — that’s awfully elitist — it should be a debate about the issues.

You’ve made assertions that I contest. This whole exchange began because you said, as quoted above by Irene, that "over 70 percent of the seashore was inaccessible to the public." I was immediately attacked for questioning your assertion. Well, in fact, NPS issued a news release today that indicates more than 20 miles of beach were open to ORVs and more than 50 miles open to pedestrians—out of 67.5 miles of oceanfront. Can you explain your statistic? Were you misquoted? It is true that 70 percent of the seashore is presently inaccessible to ORVs, but that is quite different than all public access. Do you agree? Which message do you think is better for tourism, yours or mine?

I claim that the Piping Plover Recovery Plan and the U.S.G.S. Protocols were peer reviewed, as were many of the studies on which those documents relied. I based this on language in the two documents that state that they were. Do you disagree? Are they or are they not "good science"? Why? How much of the seashore do you think should be closed for breeding birds? Do you have a view? Upon which studies are you relying?

Regarding the SELC suit, the original complaint in the case included claims under the Organic Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, because the case in fact was a challenge to the interim species management plan, not simply NPS’s failure to develop an ORV plan. Do you disagree? Why?

I concede you’ve had a compelling and successful career, and I admire your service to our country. I’m just asking you to back up some of your statements with something more than your biography because many people apparently listen to you and admire you. In fact, it is because of your experience, that I hold your rhetoric to a higher standard in this debate. Is that wrong?

A few final thoughts, and I think this will be my last post directed at you. I’m honestly not trying to pick a fight.

You are right, in the end, that the law will be what a federal judge, not you (or I), says it is. Federal judges, as you know, are not ornithologists either, and they will defer to the expert agency if the agency’s argument is reasonable. For whatever reason NPS and FWS chose not to defend their interim plan, so Judge Boyle really had little choice.

Recall also that any lawsuit from ORV groups will have to wait until after the NPS publishes a final rule — a rule that presumably will be fully compliant with NEPA and reflective of the diversity of public opinion (including hundreds of thousands of comments from national environmental group members who are also part of the public) on these topics.

I certainly hope there is no lawsuit from either side. I hope we can both agree that if NPS follows proper NEPA process and approves a final ORV plan that respects both science and law, we will all stand down even if the outcome does not completely meet our desires or policy preferences. Wouldn’t you agree with that, Dr. Berry? After all, isn’t that the best one can hope for out of government?

Observer - 04-06-’09 17:03
Salvo Jimmy

Those who have been following this item might be interested in taking a look at some new stuff on Dr Berry’s BLOG

http://drmikeberry.wordpress.com

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 06-06-’09 07:23
Jim Harris

Amateur “observer” how bout showing us all, the pudding;
“I claim that the Piping Plover Recovery Plan and the U.S.G.S. Protocols were peer reviewed, as were many of the studies on which those documents relied. I based this on language in the two documents that state that they were”

Anchors or snake venom???

It is said, the proof is in the pudding. Show us the peer review of the USGS protocols. And while you are digging those things up, maybe post some of the peer reviewed documents that USGS used to found their opinion

Jim Harris (Email ) - 07-06-’09 21:38
Jim Harris

Well, it looks like “observer” can’t walk the walk. I will quote “observer” again; “I claim that the Piping Plover Recovery Plan and the U.S.G.S. Protocols were peer reviewed, as were many of the studies on which those documents relied. I based this on language in the two documents that state that they were.”

Bluster turns to buffoon, when what you say can’t be backed up as you said it could.

Jim Harris (Email ) - 09-06-’09 10:33
Observer

Jim — are you suggesting that the USGS lied in their preamble to the report? Are you suggesting that USGS did not vet their conclusions with biologists inside and outside USGS and FWS? If so, you need to take it up with them? Are you claiming that the Piping Plover Recovery Plan was not peer-reviewed?

I believe it is you, not me, who needs to back up what you say. The documents speak for themselves. I note that Dr. Berry has not responded either—and for good reason. I consider this matter closed. Buh-bye.

Observer (Email ) - 11-06-’09 14:49
Jim Harris

“observer”/crot, You sir need to read documents for facts. When you do that, your arguments would be stronger.
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm..

The USGS developed these protocols, based on the best available scientific information, to guide management, monitoring and research activity at CAHA that would result in the protection and recovery of each species. These protocols do not attempt to balance the need for protection of these species with other activities that occur at CAHA, nor was NPS management policy considered in detail. A draft of the protocols was sent to species experts for scientific review; the final draft of protocols were reviewed by NPS personnel to ensure that description of recent management at CAHA was accurately represented and that the approach was consistent with our work agreement.

USGS PWRC scientists searched and evaluated the literature and consulted wildife managers to form the first draft of the protocols, which was sent to species experts for scientific review
The protocols are the best recommendations from
4
USGS PWRC to the NPS for management of these species at CAHA, based on the sources noted above.

If you would look at these documents provided by NPS (above), you would find that USGS itself says their documents on the CHNS protocols are NOT PEER REVIEWED, but merely submitted to fellow researchers. And that by doing that they violated their own peer review process, the definition is found on;

http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/500/502-..

B. Peer Review. Also referred to as refereeing, technical peer review, or scientific peer review, peer review is scrutiny of work or ideas by one or more others (peers) who are sufficiently well qualified, who are without conflict of interest, and who are not associated with the work being performed. A peer is defined as one who is of equal standing with another; in science, the implication is that education and/or experience qualify one to comment on the work of others in a particular field of expertise. These persons may be internal or external to the organizational entity in which the review is conducted.

5. Policy. Peer review is required for all information products, whether published and disseminated by the USGS or by an outside entity, and regardless of media (print, digital, audiovisual, or Web), if the work was funded, whole or in part, by the USGS or if USGS affiliation is identified with the authorship. In keeping with practices in the broader scientific community, directives from Government authorities, and USGS Fundamental Science Practices, the following is policy:

A. Peer reviews must include at least two qualified scientists who have no stake in the outcome of the review, who are not associated with the work being performed, and who are without conflict of interest.

B. Only peer-reviewed information products may be forwarded to an Approving Official for Bureau Approval for official release (see SM 502.4 and SM 205.18). Information products sent to an Approving Official must include a reconciliation document indicating how review comments were addressed.

Now be a good fellow, go do you homework before standing in front of the class. I thought you had a better grasp of these issues. Folks on my side of the fight for access are not always wrong, as you always imply.

Jim Harris (Email ) - 11-06-’09 19:49
Observer

So, you agree that the USGS studies were in fact scientifically reviewed by peers both outside scientists and NPS, but you claim that they weren’t formally peer reviewed as part of USGS’s publication policy? You’re kidding right? The same people who were asked to review the documents would be chosen for a more formal peer review and the conclusions were the same. These documents were never intended for formal publication so your criticisms are moot.

You also have zero evidence, and I mean zero, that there is a single flaw in these documents. You have no contrary studies. You presented to reg neg not one bird biologist. Not one!

And you ignore my other assertions about the Piping Plover Recovery Plan, which was subject to an extremely rigourous national peer review. Do you dispute that as well, and on what grounds? Nice try, Jim.

Fact is you all want to yell and scream about how this is all “bad science” and you’ve got not a scintilla of actual evidence to show for it. Just “process” complaints that on strict evaluation really don’t hold water.

Tell you what — get some OBPA money and do another peer review — an actual broad national university scientist peer review with actual ornithologists. And when you get the results back, I’ll be all ears. :)

Something tells me this ain’t about the science.

Observer (Email ) - 12-06-’09 17:06
Salvo Jimmy

[quote]Just “process” complaints that on strict evaluation really don’t hold water. [unquote]

Sort of like the 1978 Plan that didn’t get final signature (process) leading ultimately to the consent decree, huh ???

Process seems to cut both ways.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 13-06-’09 05:23
Jim Harris

“So, you agree that the USGS studies were in fact scientifically reviewed by peers both outside scientists and NPS, but you claim that they weren’t formally peer reviewed as part of USGS’s publication policy? You’re kidding right? The same people who were asked to review the documents would be chosen for a more formal peer review and the conclusions were the same. These documents were never intended for formal publication so your criticisms are moot.”
THESE DOCUMENTS WERE INTENDED FOR FORMAL USE, AS THEY WERE USED.

“You also have zero evidence, and I mean zero, that there is a single flaw in these documents. You have no contrary studies. You presented to reg neg not one bird biologist. Not one!”
i DON’T NEED EVIDENCE OF FLAWS. fOR THESE DOCUMENTS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND USED AS INTENDED, THEY NEEDED TO BE PEER REVIEWED, PERIOD.

“And you ignore my other assertions about the Piping Plover Recovery Plan, which was subject to an extremely rigourous national peer review. Do you dispute that as well, and on what grounds? Nice try, Jim.”

WHERE HAVE i SAID I DISPUTE THAT PLAN. IF IT HAS BEEN PEER REVIEWED BY COMPITENT PEER REVIEWERS, SHOW IT TO ME.

“Fact is you all want to yell and scream about how this is all “bad science” and you’ve got not a scintilla of actual evidence to show for it. Just “process” complaints that on strict evaluation really don’t hold water.”

NO, WHAT I HAVE IS A BROKEN PROCESS OF PEER REVIEW, THAT LEADS TO “BAD SCIENCE

“Tell you what — get some OBPA money and do another peer review — an actual broad national university scientist peer review with actual ornithologists. And when you get the results back, I’ll be all ears. :)”

A CORRECTLY DONE PEER REVIEW IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE TO ME.

“Something tells me this ain’t about the science.”

AGAIN BRILLIANT INSIGHT ON YOUR PART. iT IS ABOUT THE SCIENCE PROCESS, NOT THE SCIENCE ITSELF.

Observer, why do you fail to grasp “facts”? To quote you;“So, you agree that the USGS studies were in fact scientifically reviewed by peers both outside scientists and NPS, but you claim that they weren’t formally peer reviewed as part of USGS’s publication policy?”

Peer review, is just that, A formal policy of review by peers as well as others. It is the review by others. Again let me quote USGS documents;

http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/500/502-..-..

B. Peer Review. Also referred to as refereeing, technical peer review, or scientific peer review, peer review is scrutiny of work or ideas by one or more others (peers) who are sufficiently well qualified, who are without conflict of interest, and who are not associated with the work being performed.

A peer is defined as one who is of equal standing with another; in science, the implication is that education and/or experience qualify one to comment on the work of others in a particular field of expertise. These persons may be internal or external to the organizational entity in which the review is conducted.

Now let’s review; a peer(s) who are sufficiently well qualified, who are without conflict of interest, who are not associated with the work being preformed.

That sir, is very clear, your failure to grasp these facts is astounding. Read again; (peers) who are sufficiently well qualified, who are without conflict of interest, and who are not associated with the work being performed.

Let me be clear; when it says “who are without conflict of interest, who are not associated with the work being preformed.” means just that.

Then the same document goes on;”
A. Peer reviews must include at least two qualified scientists who have no stake in the outcome of the review, who are not associated with the work being performed, and who are without conflict of interest”

Let me repeat for you clairifaction; “Peer reviews MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST TWO QUALIFIED SCIENTISTS WHO HAVE NO STAKE IN THE OUTCOME OF THE REVIEW, WHO ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORK BEING PREFORMED, AND WHO ARE WITHOUT CONFLICT OF INTREST.”

oBSERVER, PLEASE TRY AND KEEP UP TO SPEED, YOUR FAILURES ARE GROWING MORE EACH TIME, MAYBE YOU SHOULD SLOW DOWN AND LEARN FROM THESE MISTAKES, WE WOULD ALL BE BETTER OFF.

Jim Harris (Email ) - 15-06-’09 23:06
Observer

Jim — I think your rant speaks for itself. Your definitions of peer review describe exactly what occurred. Until you post the names of the reviewers and why they are disqualified or can point to a single substantive flaw in the documents, you really have nothing to say. Not that that will stop you.

Observer (Email ) - 16-06-’09 17:59
Jim Harris

Anchor/observer tell us who and show us their report to USGS who complied with this;
“Peer reviews MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST TWO QUALIFIED SCIENTISTS WHO HAVE NO STAKE IN THE OUTCOME OF THE REVIEW, WHO ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORK BEING PREFORMED, AND WHO ARE WITHOUT CONFLICT OF INTREST.”
You sir, opened this door, you must close it, not I. You said the “protocals” were peer reviewed. It should be a simple matter for you to prove it. If indeed the “protocals” are peer reviewed, I certainly will give them my due respect.

Jim Harris (Email ) - 16-06-’09 21:48




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