We are not alone, Part II - Shooting The Breeze


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We are not alone, Part II

Friday 15 August 2014 at 3:37 pm.

Island Free Press reader Mike Metzgar, a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, still quite often sends us links to articles in the media about controversies at other parks.

I read them all and find them interesting and informative -- and especially informative in what they tell us about the National Park Service and its relationships with the communities in which parks are located.

What the articles tell us is that we are not alone in our recent disagreements with the Park Service over such issues as regulations, science, and transparency.

A couple years ago, I rounded up a bunch of stories that Mike had e-mailed over the past months in a blog entitled, "We are not alone."

Mike has sent us many stories since that blog but some of those we've received from him this summer have especially caught my attention.

So, here's "We are not alone, Part II." If you want more information, there are links to media coverage at the end of the blog.


In June, the Cape Cod National Seashore banned kiteboarding for all areas within the seashore -- on the ocean and in the bay -- except for a quarter-mile corridor.

Seashore officials said the ban was to protect migratory and nesting shorebirds, including the threatened piping plover, the endangered roseate tern, and the red knot, which has been proposed for listing as a threatened species.

There, as here at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, officials think that the big, colorful kites will be seen by the birds as a predator and will scare them off their nests or disturb their feeding.

There have been no discussions about banning kiteboarding at Cape Hatteras.

Kiteboarders at Cape Cod have asked to see the science behind the decision to ban the sport, but have gotten little in return.

One kiteboarder, who is also a lawyer, asked to see the scientific research two years ago when kiteboarding was banned in the bay and received a single master's thesis in return.

Sound familiar?

"They keep taking and taking it all away from us and they never give anything back," said Richard Lay, a Wellfleet native in a report in the Cape Cod Times.  "We have hundreds of people coming to (the Cape) to kiteboard and they don't have anyplace to go other than the two or three beaches that are massively overcrowded."


According to the Cape Cod Times, the park officials at Cape Cod National Seashore had a presentation for the media at the end of July to talk about piping plover nesting at the seashore.

It seems that nesting pairs of the threatened shorebird are plummeting at the seashore, which is on track to see its lowest number of chicks fledged in 10 years.

This year, there were only 68 nesting pairs at the seashore, compared to 84 in 2003.

Chicks that have fledged have dropped by an even larger percentage.

At the time of the media presentation, only 27 chicks had fledged, down from 130 a decade ago. If all the chicks still on the ground at the end of July fledge -- which is unlikely -- that will bring the total for the season go 61, just slightly more than last year's all-time low of 46.

Predators are a major cause of chick loss at Cape Cod, as it is here at Cape Hatteras.

The seashore has used exclosures -- cages over the nests -- to protect them in the past but stopped that practice in 2012 because officials think they may attract predators and keep the adult birds from coming and going.

Now, they are apparently rethinking exclosures and studying them.  One-third of the nests are covered by exclosures this year, and the plovers are having greater hatching success in exclosure-covered nests.

Also, the Cape Cod Times story notes that an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows smaller buffers around some nests to ensure public access expires this year.  Seashore officials said they did not know if it would be renewed.

Sure would be nice to have some less extensive buffers at Cape Hatteras, wouldn't it?

Anyway, the number of fledged birds is dropping like a rock at Cape Cod despite the fact that it has had its current off-road vehicle management plan since 1999 and despite other beach closures and regulations, such as the kiteboarding ban.


The National Park Service is formulating new rules and regulations at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

The new General Management Plan isn't final yet, but what is being proposed is causing a cultural clash between park officials and environmental groups on one side and local residents and visitors on the other.

Here is a passage from a story The Kansas City Star wrote about the controversy over what folks can and cannot do in the park, which was created when the federal government took land from the locals in 1964.

"The two rivers and park, which draw 1.5 million visitors each year, were meant for recreation, critics argue. And they accuse the park service and 'Sierra Club types' of attacking their culture and ruining their fun and businesses.

Environmental groups, on the other hand, wish the proposal would go even further to crack down on some activities.

Park officials describe the conflict as 'resource management versus recreation.

There’s also some environmental correctness versus rural grit, and a sense of collective good versus rugged individualism."

It sounds very similar to what has happened here at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the past decade or two.

The article also notes that the new plan is coming at "a boom time for anti-government fervor -- just more Washington telling citizens what to do."

"And President Barack Obama looms large.

At a debate in May in front of the Shannon County Courthouse in Eminence, Mo., Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder called for the federal government to turn the park over to Missouri. The Republican railed about British tyranny, quoted the Declaration of Independence and threw in Obamacare and Benghazi."

A lot of this "anti-Washington" fervor has also been evident here at the seashore in the past few years. Any number of people have encouraged the state of North Carolina to seize the seashore, to take it back.

The chances of that happening are nil to nothing, but that hasn't tamped down the enthusiasm for it.

To find out more about the clash in the Ozarks, you'll have to read the story. The link is at the end of the blog, and the article is very well written and balanced.


Folks gathered at the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. on July 31 to say goodbye to the farming operation in Point Reyes National Seashore that was finally forced to close down by the National Park Service.

In 2012, then Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar refused to renew the 40-year lease of the popular oyster farm that supplied oysters to many businesses in the area, mainly restaurants.

Park officials and environmental groups claimed that the operation was harming the flora and fauna in the estuary, especially the harbor seals.

The owner of Drakes Bay and locals claimed that the operation was not harming the estuary and that the National Park Service had no science to show otherwise.

Finally, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., requested a National Academy of Sciences investigation into the Drakes Bay research.

This is from a 2009 "Shooting the Breeze" blog on the clash over the science:

"The academy reviewed the documents and reports from Park Service scientists that claimed the oyster farm’s motorboats were destroying eelgrass and spooking seals off sandbars during the birthing season – among other things.

However, in a report issued in May, the academy found insufficient data to determine that seals and other wildlife were being harmed, and it criticized the Park Service science, saying it has 'exaggerated the negative and overlooked potentially beneficial effects of the oyster culture operation.'"

The dispute about the science at Point Reyes has many, many similarities to the dispute over the science upon which the Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials have based the huge buffers for nesting shorebirds and chicks here.

Despite what the Park Service claims, the science in the case of Cape Hatteras has not been peer reviewed.  It is, at best, "the best available science," but it is in no way sufficient.

A federal judge gave the oyster farm a 30-day reprieve after the restaurants that depend on the Drakes Bay oysters asked for an injunction to stop the farm's closure.

A hearing in that case is scheduled in September, but the businesses admit they don't have much chance of winning.

This, likely, is the end of the road for the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.


The Caller-Times in Corpus Christi, Texas, reported last month that Neuces County is one step closer to "planting its flag in the sand" of 3,600 acres located between the Padre Island National Seashore and the county line.

The commissioners voted 3-2 to move forward with acquiring the 3,600 acres that the Nature Conservancy also wants.

The Nature Conservancy would donate the land to the national seashore, and officials at the seashore issued a statement that they do not intend to prohibit public access.

However, local officials and members of the non-profit Ed Rachal Foundation don't trust the federal government, and the foundation has committed to providing the funds to acquire the land.

Environmentalists don't trust that the county would be good stewards of the land -- at least not as good as they would be.

The county has said it would accept the "no development" restrictions now on the land.

Local governments are now trying to figure out how they can afford to maintain and police the beaches if they do buy the land.


This report comes to us from "Opposing Views," a Los Angles-based independent media site that publishes original journalism on politics, social issues, religion, sports, and entertainment.

"John Gladwin and his cattle dog Molly are not allowed to enter the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Los Angeles, or he will go to jail.

Gladwin, 69, is not allowed to leave Southern California unless his probation officer allows it.

The federal government has cracked down on the retiree because he violated a leash law two times per the regulations of the National Park Service.

"I've never had someone, while a trial was pending, go and commit the same offense. He's incorrigible," Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon McCaslin told the LA Weekly. "He thinks the park is his backyard."

Actually, the park is Gladwin's backyard. His home is only a few hundred feet from the Santa Monica Mountains."

You can read more in the link at the end of this blog.

And, by the way, think twice before you unleash your dog on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.


On piping plover decline at Cape Cod National Seashore:


On kiteboarding ban at Cape Cod National Seashore:

On NPS new proposed rules at Ozark National Scenic Riverways:

On closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in Point Reyes National Seashore:

On Texas county's efforts to keep land from Padre Island National Seashore:

On man who violated leash law in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area:



Really, that’s all you’ve got for people unhappy with NPS? There are nearly 300 million people that visit our nation’s precious parks and beaches, with well over 90 percent in full approval of NPS’s policies and their park experience. This information sent to the editor shows how truly outnumbered and regressive associations like Beach Buggy really are.

billfish - 15-08-’14 18:21
Dave H

Many of these examples are what one should expect given the current administration and it’s government first, government knows best, top down approach to almost everything! I would hope that Dare is closely studying the Texas model. Local control is what our system was designed to provide, but it is fast slipping away with our apathetic, what’s in it for me society.

Dave H - 15-08-’14 18:52

Sadly none of these are surprising by what we have seen here. I think the Drakes Oyster farm is really disturbing, a glaring example of non-science based bullying by the NPS and it’s delusional progressive liberal agenda.

AnonVisitor - 15-08-’14 21:16

Irene…….. Thanks for acknowledging my small contribution over the last few years from my Pennsylvania home to those that may find a gold nugget in the articles and assist our fight for access. You’re the best!

I am a faithful reader of the IFP and a longstanding member of the NCBBA Board with great admiration for those that continue to lead the fight for access. It has become more evident to me in last 4-5 years that every day we are being systematically being removed from our public lands across the nation by the Department of Interior and the National Park Service. As I read articles each day it also becomes obnoxiously apparent that there are many double standards in the DOI and NPS rulebook.

An article came out today about swimming in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (NPS).. you must now wear a life jacket if you are in 6’ of water or more. Failure to do so will result in #1:a warning and #2: a ticket..Really!

I often wondered if a Piping Plover nested at the foot of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse,in the Frisco Campground, at the S curves, by the Canadian Hole restrooms, at the Bodie Island Lighthouse, at the Wright Brothers Memorial would NPS place a 1000M buffer in place and close the area to everyone? See what I mean about the double standards!

For those that may scoff at the few examples Irene had room for in her article take your cynicism and research how many of your tax dollars are spent in litigation restricting access. The lawyers are the real beneficiaries of the DOI and NPS double standards I see challenged every day by the American public.

While sometimes appearing to be standing in the shadows know full well that the NCBBA, OBPA and the CHAC are stalwarts in this quest. These organizations are thinking and working for everyones access.

We need your help! http://www.ncbba.org

Hatrasfevr - 15-08-’14 22:02

We’ve traveled a lot all over the USA and have encountered examples of this everywhere we’ve been where the issue is public access to public lands.

bbbc - 16-08-’14 06:56
Hawkk Hawkins

Uh-oh…bill.‘s “300 million” are back!

Hawkk Hawkins - 16-08-’14 10:33

I just heard that the yearly Audubon and SELC beach and marsh clean up is next week. Everyone will meet at their research and educational building in Hatteras. Afterwards, they will serve lunch and…opps, I was dreaming. What exactly have they done out here since they took your money and ran? Thanks for printing the plain truth Irene. Hatrasfevr is right about those buffers…made up science fooling 300 million people. Just like Billfish said.

Ricky - 16-08-’14 12:35

A donation to Audubon has helped to keep people from driving on the beach. So exactly what has a donation to Beach Buggy accomplished regarding more open beach driving? Oh that’s right, absolutely nothing. Zero. Nada. So now who exactly took the money and gave nothing back regarding beach driving access?

billfish - 16-08-’14 13:49


Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Association (CHAPA) is focused on stemming the systematic removal of US…..ALL OF US without regard…. kayakers, shellers, pedestrians, kiteboarders, bird watchers, and ORV from Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. Look up the areas where NO ONE is permitted to enter. It might shock you!

NCBBA, OBPA and CHAC (CHAPA), are members of the United Mobile Access Preservation Association (UMAPA) and representing 17,000 men and women from Massachusetts to North Carolina that understand and discuss the NPS double standards in access at our Seashores from Cape Cod to Cape Lookout and everywhere in between. Billfish: Your continual chant about these CHAPA organizations accomplishments for ORV access needs a rest. You missed the point: CHAPA = ACCESS FOR EVERYONE!

By the way you also missed the part about your donation to Audubon being used for the sale in Currituck County of conserved ocean to sound land to developers that netted National Audubon millions of dollars. How much more money do they need from any of you to do whatever their principals want to do?

Apparently you are a one trick pony so let me give you the NCBBA workhorse to ride.

Since 1998 NCBBA has donated over $60,000 to students in Dare and Hyde county, VA, NC and PA (members children) for higher education. In the last 5 years approximately $35,000 has been donated to the Hatteras Island needy, to the food bank, and the Dare County Foundation to help with hurricane recovery. Over $10,000 has been donated to Hatteras Island Water Rescue organizations, Fire Companies, and several other organizations including the Toys for Tots. These are the ones that come to mind from my 10 years on the Board of Directors. I know there are others.

My challenge to you Billfish:

Provide similar examples of the contributions from the millions in the SELC, Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife treasuries to the people of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands who are the people receiving their continual litiguous wrath.

I’ll look for your answer or answers from your cronies in this column or directly to me at: directors@ncbba.org. When your reply is received it will be sent to the IFP for publication so be sure the new ponies can support the riders.

NCBBA members, for the last 50 years, have supported the people of the Islands in conservation programs and financially in time of need. What has Audubon or Defenders done but interrupt peoples lives at every opportunity on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. The lawyers benefit and the people suffer.

NCBBA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year….. Join the celebration on October 4, 2014 at: http://www.ncbba.org..

Hatrasfevr - 16-08-’14 16:52

No one is fooled by your access-for-all false agenda. Your stance regarding pedestrian only areas clearly shows the belief of the pro ORV crowd. You just want to go fishing with your truck on the beach, along with as much ORV access as possible. That’s it. The rest is pure BS and a very bad ability to spin things your way. No wonder your lost record is 100 percent. And I raise your 17,000 men and women by millions and millions of members of Audubon, Sierra, Friends of National Parks, Defenders of Wildlife and hundreds of other organizations. Your donations are nice, but don’t ever consider them as a reason for decreasing beach driving restrictions. Then there’s ninety percent of the 300 million people that visit our national parks and seashores are fully with their experience, which includes driving restrictions everywhere. And since you’re talking about my cronies, they are the people of the United States and not just some environmentally selfish micro special interest group. 17,000…that’s embarassing. And you really think you’re working on behalf of birdwatchers…trust me, I’m sure they’re laughing out loud about that statement.

billfish - 16-08-’14 20:32

Answer my challenge for everyone to see!

My challenge to you Billfish:(AKA ‘One trick pony!)

Provide ANY example of contributions from the millions of dollars in the SELC, Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife treasuries to the people of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands who are the people receiving their continual litiguous wrath.

I’ll look for your answer or answers from your cronies in this column or directly to me at: directors@ncbba.org. Make sure the new ponies can support the riders.

Put up or take your unsupported diatribe elsewhere ‘one trick pony’!

Hatrasfevr - 16-08-’14 22:53
Denny In Dayton

Billfish what you don’t want to acknowledged is that all these regulations here at Hatteras and other places haven’t helped. In fact they have resulted in negative results.

Your “best science” is obviously wrong so if you are truly concerned about these birds why not revise your opinion?

Yes we know, it’s not about the birds, here or other places, it’s about control.

Denny In Dayton - 16-08-’14 23:03
salvo jimmy

Hey Mike,

You must not be out of troll cheese.

I do note b(BS)f does not address the sale of land by AS to developers in Currituck but yet AS supports Currituck bridge opposition on the grounds of increased development.

As my part Cherokee wife would say, AS speak with forked tongue.

salvo jimmy - 17-08-’14 06:27
Phil Dailey


“A donation to Audubon has helped to keep people from driving on the beach.”

What exactly has that accomplished to the good of the American people? I’m not sure I understand your point (pun intended).

Phil Dailey - 17-08-’14 06:44

The U.S. has it’s own ‘Agenda 21’ that has nothing to do with the UN.

Bud - 17-08-’14 08:23
Dave H

No, Bud. It is all part of a larger plan. Agenda 21 is where a large part of this crap originates! Unfortunately, many in our once free country buy into that stuff (polite word inserted).
Thanks, SJ for once again pointing out the hypocrisy of the left. Still think bf is a govt. employee- or at the very least govt. lackey!

Dave H - 17-08-’14 14:02

The economic benefits of Wings Over Water. Contibutions to Pea Island. Both help the people of HI economically. Remember, this is all of America’s beach you are trying to control. By the way you have been proven dead wrong leglatively, judicially and scientifically. Just because you refuse to believe the facts doesn’t mean they aren’t true. Even our federal courts said they aren’t going to play that ridicuously game.
And Flyspeck Jimmy, the land in Currituck was sold to purchase even more land in Currituck County that creates an even larger block of protected property on the water. Hey, maybe you can even take your tape measure up there and report back. And as for the point, the people of America wants wildlife protected during breeding season. Only a small subset of hobby ORV fisherman, which is microscopic is comparision, think differently because they are enviromentally selfish. And positioning your 50th anniversary as a celebration is merely an excuse to raise more contributions to fight beach driving restrictions. Those contributions end up in the hands of lawyers that have been unable to even fight their way out of paper bag. When it comes to fighting beach driving restrictions, Beach Buggy and similar entities have a 100 percent losing record. Seems like in that case you are taking money from people and giving nothing back regarding access except continuous whining. Now my challenge: Prove to me that contributions to Beach Buggy has helped to keep ORV beach driving more open. Or do you have nothing but would of, could of excuses. Or will you refuse to answer by spinning more BS. Looks like another packed week on HI…well after the beach plan was implemented. It must be all those bird watchers that Beach Buggy is attracting to HI though its ORV open access initatives.

billfish - 17-08-’14 14:03

I believe you are 100 percent correct if it pertains to the USA preparing for the outcome of climate change. Good point. Of course North Carolina then went out and outlawed climate change…to the suprise and laughter of the nation and the enire world.

billfish - 17-08-’14 14:34

First, at the signing of the agreement >40 years ago, there never was an intention to renew the oyster farm lease. The new owner should have sued the previous owner rather than the government in a frivolous lawsuit.

Second, while I agree that no one has come to Hatteras to research and publish a peer-reviewed study on the buffers at Hatteras, but I disagree we need to re-invent the wheel.

All the buffers are the result of previously published (peer-reviewed) studies and the USGS protocols are merely a synthesis of that previous work.

That work is cited by both the USGS and the NPS in the ORV plan FEIS.

billfish, you’ll never win an argument with someone who thinks picking up trash once a year is better than working to save and protect entire ecosystems. And actually, there’s a research which shows people with a certain mind-set will actually become more entrenched in their beliefs when exposed to evidence their beliefs are wrong (motivated reasoning).
See also The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science by Chris Mooney

FKAA - 17-08-’14 14:39

BF, your definitely part of the delusional crowd when 76% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. at this time. This administrations policies are just stupid and only supported by your dishonest micro environmentalist special interest groups and ambulance chasers. The tide is turning and we will restore reasonable access.

AnonVisitor - 17-08-’14 14:40

Over 90 percent of people that visit our national parks and beaches natinwide are fully satisfied with their experience and the way NPS runs our parks and beaches. That’s what this discussion is about, and if you’re 76 percent number is correct, it even makes the performance and popularity of NPS even more remarkable. Thanks for supporting my case, even though that wasn’t your objective.
Still waiting for Hatrsfever to show how money contributed to Beach Buggy has helped to meet its mission of open ORV access. Show the results. Show the proof. Show it on the map.

AnonVisitor - 17-08-’14 15:22

I am really weary of hearing how the science behind the buffers is peer-reviewed. It is NOT. Repeat: It is NOT. May be “best available,” but it is not peer-reviewed.

The list of scientists acknowledged by USGS as peer reviewers does NOT include two independent reviewers with no interest in the outcome, as required by both NPS and USGS guidelines.

One person listed as a peer reviewer, “thinks” he read over it. Even if he did, he is not an independent researcher.

Two others with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (locally) say straight out for publication that they did NOT peer review the USGS protocols.

Please read this blog from April 2010 for more details.


So, now, what is it you armchair scientists do not understand about peer review?

It’s probably the same thing that NPS and USGS spokespersons do not understand about peer review — do not understand or, for some reason, do not wish to acknowledge.


Irene - 17-08-’14 15:47

Dave H,
I am not a government employee but would be proud if I were one.
By the way did you thank a Park Ranger today for their hard work.
Or how about our men in women in uniform that are serving, they are also government employees, or, as you say, “—at the very least, gov’t lackeys.. How about our government forest fire fighters that are fight out west, are they lackeys? What about Homeland Security, lackeys, too? Planners of intertstate highways? Or the people of the US Department of Transportation who ensured and oversaw the 80 percent federal funding for the new Bonner Bridge.

Billfish - 17-08-’14 16:03

Sorry anonvisitor. I am not an imposter, I just made a mistake on the signature.

billfish - 17-08-’14 16:25

Irene, I would challenge you then to show how the disturbance distance studies cited by the USGS were not peer-reviewed.
The USGS didn’t just invent those numbers. They obtained them from all the available peer-reviewed literature.

FKAA - 17-08-’14 17:26

The subject of the blog is the Patuxent Protocols, paid for by NPS and conducted by the USGS. These are the studies that are NOT peer reviewed.

Irene - 17-08-’14 17:37

Irene The protocols are not original research and contain no original research, other than a lit review. They are a synthesis of peer-reviewed research existing at the time they were published.

FKAA - 17-08-’14 18:00
salvo jimmy

For the record on the A land sale, AS’s Buckler in an interview imparted the following about the sale. From a OBVoice article on the interview.

“For the money Audubon hopes to make from the sale of land they consider too hemmed in by development to maintain distinct species, Buckler hopes to improve the quality of the impoundments, conduct field research and build suitable habitat for researches to learn more about the vast holdings on the west side of the road.”

Don’t see anything about purchase of more land.

BTW OBVoice did a series of good articles (about 4-5) on the sale and background from way back into the 1960s. Balanced articles. You can google them up if interested.

salvo jimmy - 17-08-’14 18:17
salvo jimmy

Further for the record there is more than one beach clean up a year up done by NCBBA.

salvo jimmy - 17-08-’14 18:19

When it comes to the beach plan, didn’t the federal judicial system say there was an overwhelming amount of scientific information to keep the plan the way it is, and that attacking it legally—including the issue of peer review—doesn’t overthrow ithe plan’s existing rules and overall intent. Hasn’t this already been addressed legally? Why would the outcome change, and why would a federal court even address this issue again when they have shown they disagree? While it might of been an incorrect peer review as noted by the editor, the facts and information regarding the use of ORVs and their impact on beach life is so overwhelming it doesn’t make any difference from a legal perspective. (Of course it makes a huge difference to beach drivers who are looking for every excuse possible for a redo.) I think that’s what was said. But then I’m only an armchair attorney and scientists. I do know that very informed attorneys did fight it out, and we now are experiencing the outcome. Seems like were fighting an issue that has already been decided legally. Am I wrong?

billfish - 17-08-’14 18:36

Billfish… My challenge is rephrased to make it easier for to you understand….. it is not rhetorical:

Provide ANY example of DOLLARS from the millions of dollars in the SELC, Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife treasuries to the people of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Not their fund raising events…….their cash contributions! I dare you to name one because everyone knows there isn’t any.

By the way…thank the SELC for putting the lives of every OBX visitor and resident in more danger each day with their continual litigation of the Bonner Bridge replacement at the expense of the US and the NC taxpayer. Only the attorneys get rich on this approach. You must be an attorney or appreciate paying more in taxes.

Hatrasfevr - 17-08-’14 19:37
Tom Cain

Billfish, I would bet that the 90+% of the population that you say are happy with NPS management don’t have to live with their local influence on a day to day basis.

Tom Cain - 17-08-’14 19:59

In your terms, I don’t not know of any DOLLARS directly contributed like the average, for example, of a total of $769.00 yearly per state across three states for student education that NCBBA provides to members. Somehow, I thought the exponentially more dollars of contributions to places like Pea Island seems to be a greater benefit to HI residents. Either way, I’ll concede your challenge and thank you for helping out.

That said, show how even one penny contributed to NCBBA has met your mission of greater ORV access, or have people’s hard earned money just dissapeared with zero results. Now tell me why anyone should have any confidence in giving money to meet your ORV access initative. You took the money and delivered zero results. Prove me wrong. Show results and mileage and not just useless excuses. C’mon meet the challenge for all to see!

The Bonner Bridge is a different issue than ORV driving, and you might be surpised by where I stand on that issue.

Billfish - 17-08-’14 20:40
salvo jimmy


Mom always told me to eat carrots or my eyes would go bad. When I had to get glasses I said it looked like the carrots did no good. Her answer was, think how bad it might have been without the carrots.

I think the analogy applies to the $s spent by CHAPA. If CHAPA had just rolled over and there had been no fight, access could very easily have been far more limited.

salvo jimmy - 18-08-’14 05:26
salvo jimmy

Here’s a link to the 5th OBVoice article on the AS land sale, with links in it to the other 4 articles.


salvo jimmy - 18-08-’14 05:31

Thanks to wonderful donations and wise land investments, the Audubon Sanctuary in Currituck County has now grown to 17,692 acres in 2014.

Mom always told me never to waste good money after bad. That’s except for individual’s money donated to ORV access. People could have just as easily ripped all their dollar bills into little pieces and thrown them up in the air,and these ridiculous lawsuits wouldn’t have cost the American taxpayer any money.

billfish - 18-08-’14 11:54

Tom Cain… right on the $$$ with your comment.
We are a small COG in the WHEEL of this entire formula.
HI population is a drop in the bucket compared to the entire nation (approx 330 million, billfish)
If you employ the science of the numbers you can get any result you want it to be.
You voted for Obama too, huh Billfish?

ken - 18-08-’14 13:32


The point for me is CHAPA  and it’s sister organisations do everything for ORV access first. The civic contributions you brag about are also used as PR ploys to gain as much ORV access as possible. As nice as it is to organise trash pick ups everyone knows that it is just as much about getting your message out as doing a good deed and I understand your message loud and clear. I have to agree with FKAA that picking up trash is insignificant in comparison with trying to preserve ecosystems or supporting legal work to keep wreckreational lobbies at bay. How many vehicles and how much beach on a national seashore is enough? To bad for wildlife habitat or visitors wanting to play on a beach without vehicles if it inconveniences you and your friends beach driving. Your singular agenda is ORV access for all, anything else is a far distant second.

I haven’t and wouldn’t give any of those organizations any support or money. I know what their real agenda is.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”

PH - 18-08-’14 19:48

Not like this in the 60s and 70s, I just want to visit it again , before you all destroy it forever with all your talk and BS, with no real actions.

Owen - 18-08-’14 21:04

Billfish said “A donation to Audubon has helped to keep people from driving on the beach.”

That was the goal of the AS & SELC action from the beginning, period. Note that he did not lead with a positive impact on wildlife, he lead their primary goal, banning driving on the beach.

Not a single AS or SELC member would ever consider trying to leverage the presence of sportsmen to the benefit of the wildlife, as I have offered repeatedly.

They cannot be reasoned with, the only solution is to wrest control of the beaches from the NPS. Contact your NC legislator and tell them that the NC beaches will be much better managed by the folks who actually live here.

whiplash - 18-08-’14 21:11
Denny In Dayton

Well I’m tired of the nonsense, and statements never supported from Billfish and FKAA.

Here’s a nugget for you, why as Americans are spending MORE on outdoor recreation are the National Parks seeing a decline in visitation and duration of that visitation? More and more park visitors drive to a viewing place, look around and leave.

I’ll help you, when you close off areas so people can’t experience it, because you are “saving it for future generations” (why so they can’t experience it either?), people stop coming or don’t stay.

Our National Parks, and even worse our National Recreation Areas are becoming “viewing stand” areas. Drive by recreation. People don’t stay and don’t experience, they drive up to the viewing stand, look out for 10 min, say “yup that’s nature”, then get back in their vehicles and drive away.

They say the average visitor to the Grand Canyon spends 10 minutes. When places get closed off and can’t be experienced people don’t stick around.

Oh and yeah, here’s a link and look at the numbers for CHNSRA, What The…, I thought everyone said numbers where up during this time? Yes the story is a couple years old but I could give others, I like the visitation numbers. Add to the decline the decline in overnight and time spent, it pretty well supports the economic struggles many of us see on Hatteras Island.


Denny In Dayton - 18-08-’14 22:46

‘ridiculous lawsuits” #1 Audubon suing the NPS

bbc - 19-08-’14 07:21

Bf, no problem, is to be expected from the delusional crowd.
NPS visitation continues to drop nationwide and Jarvis has said parks are losing relevancy. The main cause for this is over regulation like what we see here and about to happen to CALO.
Not a member of NCBBA but I feel like this and other orgs have contributed to preserving what little access we have left. If they hadn’t pushed back we would have lost a lot more. But they and we are out gunned by the big dishonest eco terrorist groups, like DoW and Audubon. The delusional crowd supports these groups because it makes them feel good and are not smart enough to figure what is really happening, exactly like BF.

AnonVisitor - 19-08-’14 08:10
salvo jimmy

For the record the NCBBA beach cleanups, scholarships, donations, etc go back well before the access issue came to the forefront in about 2000.

So saying it’s just a PR thing about recent access issues holds no water.

salvo jimmy - 19-08-’14 08:16
Al Adam

Of course one of the reasons for Operation Beach Respect is to “get the word out.” Is that a bad thing? Respect the resource, keep it clean and experience it – not, as Denny states, watch the slide show and move on to the next attraction area.
As I have stated previously – look at what associations like NCBBA have done FOR the Hatteras communities and individuals and compare it to what SELC et co has done TO the same. Take the profit motive away from those enviro- extortionists and see how much they care about conservation. Audubon is just one example of the for profit, not bird, culture.
Selling the Currituck property for profit for high density housing kind of sums them up in a tidy picture. It is the third such Audubon scam of which I am aware but I’m sure there are many more. Check out the administrative and board compensation for Audubon — that is also an eye opener. 90% of those 300 million contributors don’t have a clue to what is happening with their money. Low information is part of what the Audubons, DOWs and SELC rely upon to market their ruse.

Al Adam - 19-08-’14 08:55

Billfish, which Mirlo bridge option do you prefer?

Anonymous - 19-08-’14 10:07

Denny in Dayton I take exception to your unsupported assertion I’ve made unsupported statements.

And while you can pretend areas at Cape Hatteras are permanently closed to visitation, intelligent and informed persons know otherwise.

Humans can adapt and modify their times of visitation. Wildlife cannot adapt and modify their breeding cycles just to satisfy your selfish desires.

As for the Grand Canyon, I would think 5 minutes looking at a big ditch would suffice. Since Americans have become so pampered, fat and lazy ( http://obesityinamerica.org/ ), I doubt many would be up for a day hike, bicycle tour, mule trip or a raft trip down the river.


I would say a lawsuit against the NPS for violating the laws and its EL for decades, was far from ridiculous and very much appropriate.

Al Adam
Your hand wringing aside, very small and ecologically fractured property like that in Currituck have little to no biological benefit unless one can reconnect it to the whole.
And do tell us in your opinion, just how much should Audubon pay someone who over-sees about $500 million in cash and investments, 100s of employees/volunteers and national/global conservation projects?

FKAA - 19-08-’14 13:25

Again, with all the new rules within our National Park that Audubon dictated, just 5 plovers fledged…FACT RIGHT? With global warming it has been suggested that more northerly migrations may happen. Stupid me, does that mean that the few piping plovers may in fact go farther north and completely out of their southern most breeding range here in eastern NC?

Ricky - 19-08-’14 14:45

In some ways you have to tip your hat when it comes to Audubon and the SELC raising money. When you send piles of false information out to millions of people who do not have a clue of what’s going on around Hatteras Island, some will send money. Mainly the stupid ones and many that cannot really afford to.

James - 19-08-’14 15:11
Al Adam

It’s actually 403 million but a 25% exaggeration on behalf of an Audubon proponent is actually not bad! Looks to me like their two biggest line item expenses are salaries and pensions. Advertising and solicitation is huge so they can assure that they maintain the nice salaries and pensions. Their mission statement should be “Continue to contribute to Audubon so we can continues to assure fat wages and great pensions for those who pretend to be protecting birds”.
A little truth in advertising would be good. We’re digging a bit deeper into the real estate transactions but it appears that there may be “unusual” commissions as well as some sweetheart numbers related to the real estate portfolio of the beloved bird benefactors. The society is a well structured enviro exploitation machine. To steal so much from so many under the guise of protecting a bird is indeed brilliant and to be envied by con artists worldwide. Check the numbers guys —- your contributions would be much better spent on bird food, but don’t buy it from Audubon, they’ll rip you off!

Al Adam - 19-08-’14 18:02

‘ridiculous lawsuits’ #2 every lawsuit SELC has done to stop the building of a parallel Oregon Inlet replacement bridge over what now, two decades?

bbc - 19-08-’14 21:51
Denny in Dayton

FKAA you missed the point again. People are adapting, they aren’t visiting NPS units as much. They are going other places instead.

Look at Cape Point Campground, see how the humans adapted? It used to be full this time of year, considered the best of the campgrounds, now it’s empty. Know why? Because there is no access to the beach. This might shock you, but when people want to vacation at the beach, they like to be able to go the the beach. Oh how selfish. They don’t want to have to load up the car and drive to one of the parking lots you and the rest of the intelligencia have deemed the only places we commoners are worthy of.

If people can’t do what they enjoy in the parks, they stop comming, and also wont’ want to fund them. Do you understand that? Of course not, you are an idealog.

You sound like the typical progressive liberal who thinks you are the smartest person in the room and as such can tell everyone else how to live, it wouldn’t surprise me if you are part of the “self esteem” generation. As Irene and others keep pointing out you have produced junk science and used phoney or irrelevent statistics. Guess what reality is catching up, and the numbers beg to differ with your “science” and resource management theories.

You guys are really going to have to crank up your fantasy factory this winter to spin the numbers as sucess. Should be entertaining.

BTW there is a term for species that can’t adapt….EXTINCT.

Denny in Dayton - 20-08-’14 07:50

Reality vs Delusion:

Reality: 1) Everyone here is an armchair quarterback. 2) The Beach Plan case is closed, over, finished.

Delusion: 1) Everything else.

billfish - 20-08-’14 15:00

Al Adam

According to the 2013 report, it’s $450 million and change (about $500 million).

The truth be told, the CEO of Audubon probably makes half what he would for a for-profit company of equal value.

But really, how much should the CEO of a international operation w/assets of $450 mill and change make?

Your unfounded machinations of corruption are really pitiful.

Denny in Dayton

Tourism is cyclic. That’s why for-profit tourist attractions are always changing the attractions/shows/opportunities.

It probably wouldn’t take much for anyone to be the smartest person in any room you’re in.

Wildlife reproductive success is cyclic as well. I don’t put any stock it making wide sweeping claims about one year over another. There is improvement in the long term trend and that’s what matters, up years and down years are expected.

And don’t so hard on ORVer’s I’m sure they’ll adapt and not go extinct.

FKAA - 20-08-’14 21:52
salvo jimmy

Here is a link to “visitation” data by areas in Dare county. Does not account for price increases nor does it include “sales” tax on anything except occupancy and meals.


salvo jimmy - 21-08-’14 11:12
salvo jimmy

And here is an article with wildlife “cycles” mentioned.


salvo jimmy - 21-08-’14 11:15
billfish the one trick pony

STILL WAITING…did you beach bug out?

billfish the one trick pony - 21-08-’14 11:43
salvo jimmy

“The Bonner Bridge is a different issue than ORV driving, and you might be surpised by where I stand on that issue.”

So “surpise” us bf.

salvo jimmy - 21-08-’14 14:14

salvo jimmy

And this years turtle nests (122) have already exceeded the record (99) prior to the Consent Decree (as has every year).

FKAA - 21-08-’14 16:39

Sorry, I can’t answer your question right now. Seems like I caught a nasty Beach Bug accompanied by a high Hatrsfver. I’ll get back with you later, and thanks for asking. Regards, BF.

billfish - 21-08-’14 17:50
Dave H

Billfish- highly unlikely that I will thank a park ranger for their hard work. They are merely doing as they are instructed, though. Enforcing rules and regulations which should only exist at the local level if at all! The real problem is our bloated bureaucracy, not the folks on the ground. If the government would stick to its legitimate functions, there’d be far fewer folks actually employed by them! As for “homeland security”, what a joke that title is! Once again, primarily a problem caused by the bureaucrats running things, but how about the airport gropers-er….screeners? And our “secure” southern border? As far as firefighters and the military, I entirely support them! They are performing tasks which are wholly legitimate functions of the federal government, and doing it well. However, their civilian leaders are again sorely lacking. The highways are kind of a mixed bag in my eyes. There is definitely a case for the interstate system being a reasonable endeavor of our nation’s government . The bridge funding, I regard differently. This is money taken by the feds and doled back out to the states as a form of coercion and control over the states actions- money which should never have left the states in the first place. Imagine how much smaller (and less expensive) our national government could be if it stayed out of the socialism business! That 80 percent was likely enough to fund 2 bridges when the feds stole it from the states in the first place.

SJ- Thanks for again pointing out the left’s hypocrisy in this whole issue! Very few of them are truly invested in their stated goals. It’s more about control and influence over others.

Dave H - 22-08-’14 08:15
salvo jimmy

“And this years turtle nests (122) have already exceeded the record (99) prior to the Consent Decree (as has every year).”

So what. Statistically insignificant until there is about 10-15 yrs of data and even then too many other variables to say the CD ia a cause and effect.

salvo jimmy - 22-08-’14 08:58
Dave H

Ever notice how AS,DOW,SELC, and the left generally cite statistics when the stats support their position and totally ignore them when they contradict? Advocacy groups as a whole tend to act in that manner. Some (see above) are worse than others!

Dave H - 22-08-’14 11:57

salvo jimmy

There’s about 30 years of data and additional data from Lookout, since it’s a shared nesting population – which also functions as a control for variables.

One or two years are definitely not enough data points since the sea turtle nesting population doesn’t nest every year, but anything exceeding five years should be plenty of data when comparing it to the pre-2008 data.

And a test for statistical significance will tell you if your sample size is large enough for the difference to be “significant”.

FKAA - 22-08-’14 12:51

Dave H,
I think you’re flat-out wrong on so many levels. Fortunately, we live in a democracy. The will of the people will again be decided over the next two years by the elected officials we place in office. I will respect that will, although may not agree with it, because that is the American way. Will you? So far you haven’t.

Billfish - 22-08-’14 12:52
Dave H

bf- there you go again! Speaking from both sides of your mouth! I also respect the will of the people, though I firmly believe that that is not what we’ve got now. What we have is the will of a group of politicians elected by a group of people who can’t be bothered to pay attention to anything outside their own small world. Actually, so much power has been placed in the hands of unelected bureaucrats whose main interest is the preservation of their jobs, influence and budgets that changing elected officials makes little difference. Those currently in power are simply more apt to abet that behavior! That being said, I think your take on things and faith in big government are flat-out wrong. In my eyes, government too often is a problem. Fortunately, we still have freedom of speech and are free to disagree and (for now) say pretty much whatever we want. There are those who would happily censor my views!

Dave H - 22-08-’14 15:38

Dave H.,
If the nation’s people think the same way as you, they will elect government leaders that also think the same. That’s called the democratic process. Maybe you’ll have better luck in the future. By the way, have you met Joe, Hillary and Elizabeth?

billfish - 22-08-’14 22:16
Al Adam

We should be concerned about the billions of dollars that we are spending on bogus alternative energy programs that are not only inefficient but harmful to critters and humanoids in some cases and places.
The massive solar concentrator a in the Mojave are killing birds at a rate of thousands per year. The focused rays actually ignite the birds – they call them streamers! The windfarms are marginal at generating electricity but very effective in whacking raptors.
Then we have the same genius judge who has closed Hatteras beaches protecting coyotes in 5 eastern NC counties. Can’t wait to See the unintended consequences of that decision. I guess he’ll be arresting people for protecting their livestock. The intention is to protect red wolves that have breed far more successfully then ever expected in the Alligator Wilderness. They trapped 75 on one farm, allegedly over 50% of the entire population. RIGHT! The wolves are cross breeding with coyotes. If you wish to learn about a real swell byproduct do some reading on coy wolves.
We are being subjected to enviro extremism. I sure that much of it has to do with well intended conservationists and at least as much interest by politicians who want to be attached to anything enviro – thinking it will surely gain them votes from the low information crowd. Throw in some activist judges who have no sense, common or otherwise, and whose knowledge of the law has proven failed time after time and you have our current mess.
Multiply the problems by creating legislation enabling the enviro-extortionists (SELC et co) to build a tax payer funded lawsuit factory and we can assure no end to the ambulance chasers. With 50 thugs on staff SELC is one of the smallest firms in that industry. Nice place for inept lawyers who can’t make it in the real world.
We’ve created it and the only way to end it is to stop the runaway federal government locomotive. People need to understand that doing things like creating a Bin Laden or an ISIS for some political expediency is not a good long term plan. Our founding fathers knew that the job of a good citizen is to challenge government, although they never could have imagined one that has become as corrupt as the one that we have now.
Conservation is good. Closing beaches for no purpose is stupid. Protecting birds in an area where nature determines that they have little chance of survival at great expense may be a good way to keep 20 techs employed but has proven to do little or nothing for the population of those birds.
Where’s the balance? The pendulum has swung way too far in one direction and given the ability to impose oppressive regulations some agencies will do just that. Let all of your elected officials know how you feel and when given the chance in November be sure to neutralize this feckless administration that is currently dragging us down.
Have the conversation with your family and your neighbors.

Al Adam - 23-08-’14 08:42
Hawk Hawkins

If billfish thinks the Grand Canyon is a “big ditch”,then he must think Cape Point is a “zit”.

Hawk Hawkins - 23-08-’14 09:04

Mr. Adams,
You said what you had to say. Now let the voting public decide over the next two years. There will be a clear distinction regarding candidates on how they address environmental issues. One interesting and powerful voting group on this issue is the Millennial Generation. It could forecast the future direction of the entire nation. My bet is they will have an even greater concern for the environment than any generation before it. Realistically, you couldn’t objectively see an opposite outcome, could you?

Billfish - 23-08-’14 12:34

Well said Al Adam

Bud - 23-08-’14 14:24

Hawk HawkinsGrand Canyon=Big Ditch
That was me …
Facetious, tongue-in-cheek, flippant, sardonic …..

FKAA - 23-08-’14 17:23

The Pres. is elected via the electoral college. The House and Senate are elected by popular vote. The Senate has a fixed number of Senators per state. The House membership is defined by the number of people in various states.

So the House actually come closest to representing the “will” of the people. They have done their job and passed legislation to deal with many of our problems. The real obstructionist is the leader of the Senate (Harry Reid) who is sitting on well over 300 pieces of legislation that actually do represent the “will” of the people.

So why aren’t you championing and respecting the “will” of the people.

As for Elizabeth—so much for supporting and respecting democracy.

Ginny - 26-08-’14 10:50

“Well said Al Adam
Bud – 23-08-’14 14:24”

We agree.

ccb - 27-08-’14 20:51

Obama won by popular vote, twice, as well as through the electoral college. Just that fact alone nulifies your argument.

billfish - 27-08-’14 22:28

Actually Ginny, in 2012, votes for House seats were about 50/50 Dem/GOP (~500K more votes for Dems). It’s only through gerrymandering away the “will of the people” that the GOP still controls the House.

FKAA - 27-08-’14 23:48

Right—gerrymandering happened but voter fraud didn’t. Several counties in Ohio had not one single republican vote? People who openly admitted voting more than once when interviewed didn’t really mean what they said. Oh, the black panthers with knight sticks had no impact on voting.

The last election was close on the popular vote and without the nonesense in Ohio close on the electoral vote. Close enough that fraud could have easily made a difference. Done as, this is taking the conversation off topic.

Ginny - 30-08-’14 08:35



Why do you just repeat stuff you hear without checking it out?
A two minute internet search reveals there were no Ohio counties in which Obama received 100% of the vote.

Persons (sane) intent on committing voter fraud wouldn’t admit to it. While there were several cases investigated, I’ve not heard whether or not they investigated the claims of robo-calls which told voters they needed to vote in person as absentee votes already cast would not count.

Were they Knights or Black Panthers? I doubt 2 (new) Black Panthers with A night stick had much of any impact at all on elections. A GOP operative not registered to vote in Philly took the video and made the complaint. No other voters filed any complaints.

FKAA - 31-08-’14 11:59

I was going to end this since Irene’s board is not a political forum but as long as she posted your comment directed at me, I will respond, then done.

Bottom line—3 branches of government—2 of which are elected.

Executive—Pres. Obama won popular vote by only 4%.


House is overwhelmingly GOP and is more representative of the popular vote than the senate

Senate slim majority w/ the number of senators fixed (so slim that Reid changed rules for appointees and won’t take a chance bringing house bills to the floor)

If bringing legislation to the floor, would not change policies then why is Reid doing this. Is Reid is using his position to obstruct the real will of the people? Just like the democratic party used a rule to avoid the possibility that a super majority vote might be required for a far reaching piece of legislation. Peloski even bragged about the political slight of hand.

Finally, with respect to the black panthers, if Tea Party conservatives had shown up at polling wearing nothing but Tea Party t-shirts for the stated purpose of observing, do you thinkg the democrats would have been yelling intimidation and that the DOJ would have vigorously pursued the case? And why is the DOJ vigorously objecting to attempts to ask people to have ids proving they are the registered voter they claim to be?

If there is no voter fraud, if the people I heard bragging about voting multiple times were just kidding, etc. then why do democrats have a problem with ids?

Rhetorical questions for sure but if you can’t come up with a solid answer, you might want to rethink whether or not the real will of the people is being heard and if it is not you might want to rethink which party is actually destroying our representative form of government.

Ginny - 01-09-’14 14:18

Again, the House is not representative of the popular vote. There were 500,000 more votes for Democrats than there were for Republicans, but the GOP held on to the house because of (illegal – see Fla) gerrymandering. In the Senate there were 10 million more votes for Democrats than there were for Republicans.

I can’t find a record of any bill which has come out of committee that Reid is “blocking”. Have any specific examples?

Tea Party conservatives [sic] have been going to majority black polling places as poll monitors, in Mississippi most recently. Also note, the two “new black panthers” had the police called on them and left the polling place…..

I have no problem with voter ID laws, as long and the IDs are free and they go out to the persons home/community to pass them out. Otherwise it’s an unconstitutional poll tax.

But this explains the major objection to Voter ID laws, since in-person voter fraud in practically non existent: http://upworthy.tumblr.com/image/9621742..

All those persons who admitted to voting twice, wouldn’t be stopped by Voter ID laws as one vote was absentee and the other was in-person. This is the real problem – absentee voting, not in-person voter fraud.

FKAA - 02-09-’14 11:48

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Smitha740 (URL) - 13-07-’18 07:51

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