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

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

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The Final Word On Reg-Neg?

Thursday 02 April 2009 at 3:19 pm The National Park Service has released the final report of the Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee for Off-Road Vehicle Management for Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The committee disbanded in late February without reaching its goal of consensus.

The report was compiled and prepared by the Reg-Neg committee facilitators – Patrick Field and Ona Ferguson of the Consensus Building Institute in Boston, Mass., and Robert Fisher of Fisher Collaborative Services in Alexandria, Va. – for the National Park Service. The report provides diverse stakeholder input on a full spectrum of ORV management issues for the seashore, according to the Park Service media release.

The bad news is that the report is 1,654 pages long. Read More

Crime And Punishment

Wednesday 01 April 2009 at 1:05 pm It’s fair to say that the consent decree is despised by almost everyone on Hatteras and Ocracoke, almost everyone on the Outer Banks, and most of the park’s regular visitors.

And nothing in the consent decree is more despised than the part that requires punitive action when resource closure areas are intentionally vandalized.

For anyone who has been under a rock for the past year, the consent decree was approved by a U.S. District Court Judge last April and was agreed to by parties to a lawsuit over ORV access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Read More

Who Is Representing The People? - Part 2

Tuesday 31 March 2009 at 2:50 pm The environmental caucus has submitted its response to the process of negotiated rulemaking and suggestions to Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials on off-road vehicle rulemaking.

It was prepared and submitted by Walker Golder, Audubon North Carolina; Sidney Maddock, National Audubon Society and Golder’s alternate on the committee; Jason Rylander, Defenders of Wildlife; Derb Carter, Southern Environmental Law Center, and Destry Jarvis, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society.

It is intended to be included in a final report on the process that will eventually be issued by the National Park Service and the facilitators for the negotiation process.

And after reading it, I ask again, “Who is representing the people?” Read More