Date: April 25, 2012
Sea Turtle Conservancy is joining the National Parks Conservation Association in an effort to protect sea turtle nesting habitat at Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore. After an extensive and open public process, the National Park Service finalized protections for visitors and nesting birds and turtles from beach driving at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Now Congressman Jones is threatening to undo a compromise that was forged through an inclusive, multi-year planning process with legislation (HR 4094) that serves only the interests of those who want to drive on the beach, at the expense of visitors and wildlife.
Please consider urging your Representative to oppose H.R. 4094 and ask your Senators not to support similar legislation in the Senate. Ask your elected officials to support the National Park Service plan that provides opportunities for beach driving as well as increased safe pedestrian access to the beaches and a concerted effort to preserve the once-dwindling sea turtle and bird populations.
With your support, we can ensure that sea turtles and other wildlife can share the beach safely with people!
I am writing as a member of Sea Turtle Conservancy and an American who values our public lands. After several years of working with the public and stakeholder groups, the National Park Service finalized a plan to manage driving on the beaches of Cape Hatteras. Beach driving is one activity of many that takes place on Cape Hatteras’ beaches, but it affects other visitors enjoying a family vacation at the beach. The National Park Service took this into account and made a decision to allow some beach driving to continue while making some space for other visitors as well as create protected areas for nesting sea turtles and birds.
The plan should be kept in place because it creates safe areas for families and areas for wildlife to flourish, while still allowing for driving on many parts of the beach. But now, legislation in the House Judiciary and Natural Resources Committees, H.R. 4094, would undo this plan.
The National Park Service already had some protections in place for the last few seasons. In that time, both tourism and wildlife have thrived while the plan was being completed. The legislation calls for loosening these protections and going backwards to the days when trucks dominated the beaches and sea turtle and bird nesting was decreasing at alarming rates.
Please oppose H.R. 4094 and any similar legislation in the Senate, and let the Park Service plan to manage beach driving move forward. The Park Service did the job it was asked to do in the most thoughtful way possible. This plan will improve the experience for ALL visitors, while protecting the wildlife and scenery that make Cape Hatteras one of the most popular family vacation destinations on the Atlantic coast.
Thank you for your consideration.
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