The result of that lawsuit, of course, was the consent decree that now substitutes for management of seashore beaches by the National Park Service.
I certainly did not expect to write again so soon about this misinformation campaign by Defenders of Wildlife, the National Audubon Society, and their attorneys at the Southern Environmental Law Center.
However, there have been several developments since I last wrote about the SELC misleading media release a week ago. These developments are both noted in the comments from readers on my blog from last week.
However, not everyone reads all the comments on the blog, so I want to direct you to a couple places.
First, check out the Dare County Web site, Preserve Access to America’s Beaches, which has posted a fact-based response to the alleged success of the consent decree.
The information gathered for this response to the claim that the consent decree is a terrific success was brought to members of Congress last month by Dare County Commissioners Warren Judge and Allen Burrus and Bobby Outten, Dare County’s manager and attorney.
Unlike the SELC media releases this year and the Audubon’s e-mail alert last month, this document is detailed and based in facts that are straightforward.
Judge said the Dare County delegation had 11 meetings with congressmen and senators to talk about the consent decree and its influence on the economy of Dare County and the lifestyle of the islanders and visitors who are being denied access to the seashore’s most popular beaches from spring until fall.
The county officials were garnering support for the legislation that has been introduced in both the House and Senate to overturn the consent decree and return the seashore to the Park Service’s Interim Protected Species Management Plan. They are HR 718 and S 1557.
In addition, I want to call your attention to an editorial that appeared in The Fayetteville Observer last Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The writer took the media release from SELC and used it as a basis for an editorial, the title of which is “Beachy: Species recover, thanks to new Hatteras rules.”
The entire editorial was taken from the SELC media release, and apparently there was no attempt by the writer to do any reporting on the claims by the environmental groups and whether they were indeed factual.
Thus is how SELC is managing to turn perception – and misinformation-- into reality.
To make matters worse, the Fayetteville editorial was picked up by the Associated Press and distributed to other newspapers across the state – with all of its misleading and incorrect information.
The Charlotte Observer published the editorial – word for word.
And who knows how many other newspapers have done or will do the same?
Personally, I think it’s irresponsible that an editorial writer – or any journalist -- would take a media release from an activist environmental organization and publish the claims of the group as the truth – with no fact checking.
And it is destructive to all of us who have a stake in the outcome of ORV rulemaking on the seashore to have these half-baked and misleading claims garner credibility just because they are repeated over and over in print and on the Internet by supposedly upstanding media outlets.
The Fayetteville Observer has been notified that there is another side to the story of the species recovery at Cape Hatteras.
So far, there has been no further word from the newspaper.