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Park Service begins construction of Ramp 25 on Hatteras

Construction is underway for the National Park Service’s new ramp between Avon and Salvo on Hatteras Island in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The new oceanside Ramp 25, located between Ramps 23 and 27 and funded with ORV fee monies, is one of several proposed construction projects to facilitate beach access for the public – both ORVs and pedestrians -- as part of the final Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for the seashore. 

Also, three other projects on Ocracoke are nearing completion.  
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Prescribed burn could reroute Bodie Island traffic this week

As part of the Outer Banks Group Fire Management Plan, a prescribed burn could be conducted during the week of April 14 in the Bodie Island District of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Weather and conditions permitting, the burn unit will consist of approximately 2,220 acres located along both sides of Highway 12, north of the intersection with Old Oregon Inlet Road. 
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Circle of stones at old lighthouse site are being uncovered and prepared for a move

Whether climbing the stairs of the lighthouse, perusing the exhibits at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, or merely meandering along a bustling soundside dock, it is easy to see that Hatteras Island abounds with a rich history and a community that deeply cherishes its culture and traditions.

When it seems that a piece of the past may be slipping through the cracks and eventually be forgotten, local residents are quick to take action, initiating petitions for their cause and launching efforts in pursuit of proper historical preservation.

The circle of stones, which marks the former site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is one such case.  
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Park Service issues occupy Hyde commissioners at recent meeting

The Hyde County commissioners on Monday night passed a resolution asking the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to implement day passes for driving on the beach, open an area on the north and south end of Ocracoke Island for 24-hour vehicle access, and remit 20 percent of the beach pass revenue back to the county to offset emergency services.

Commissioner John Fletcher presented the resolution, and it will be sent to state and federal representatives and senators and to the Atlanta and Washington NPS offices.  
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A letter to NCBBA from the seashore superintendent

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Barclay Trimble updates the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association members on some ongoing projects at the seashore. (This article is republished from the current NCBBA Bulletin.)  
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Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses to open on April 18

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses will open for the season on Friday, April 18. 

Guided tours will be offered at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Visitors can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at set intervals.  These lighthouses will remain open through Columbus Day, Monday, October 13.  Tickets are required.  
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Cape Point closes to ORV access

The National Park Service this morning closed Cape Point to off-road vehicle access.

On April 2, 2014, approximately 0.5 of a mile south of Ramp 44 adjacent to the ocean shoreline, National Park Service staff observed piping plover breeding behavior in an area south of what is commonly known as "the bypass."  
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Park Service offers five days of lifeguards, but wants $10,000 from locals for seven days -- at each of three beaches

Ocracoke residents and business owners are concerned that the National Park Service’s policy manual says: “the protection of human life is the highest priority,” and are asking them to live up to that value and to continue full funding of lifeguards at the public beach.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Barclay Trimble confirmed today that while he is exploring contracting with an outside service to have lifeguards on duty for five days a week, “no funding is in place for any lifeguards.”   

“It’s all subject to negotiations,” he said. 
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Judge Boyle hears oral arguments in CHAPA lawsuit to scrap the Park Service ORV plan

March 24 was the presumed date for oral arguments to be presented in the case of the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) lawsuit challenging agencies of the Department of the Interior.  The date and time and even the location of the hearing had remained uncertain until less than a week earlier, leaving attorneys for both sides and other interested parties with their calendars on hold.

At issue was a motion by CHAPA, as plaintiff, for summary judgment to scrap the National Park Service’s beach access management plan for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area.   The federal defendants – the DOI, the Park Service and Barclay Trimble as superintendent of the Seashore -- had filed a cross-motion for summary judgment to scrap CHAPA’s lawsuit.   Also in the arena was the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), representing the Defenders of Wildlife AND the National Parks Conservation Association, admitted as Defendant-Intervenors.
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Ocracoke protests Park Service elimination of lifeguarded beaches

Ocracoke protests Park Service elimination of lifeguarded beaches

Ocracoke has taken on the National Park Service over its decision to eliminate lifeguards on the beaches in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Seashore Superintendent Barclay Trimble, who made this decision in November, said that de-funding the lifeguard program at these three beaches is necessary because of budget constraints.  
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Seashore establishes pre-nesting areas for 2014 season

Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 8, National Park Service resources management staff conducted annual assessments of breeding habitat for piping plover, Wilson’s plover, American oystercatcher, and colonial waterbirds. 

During these assessments, preferred habit was located and pre-nesting areas for piping plover, Wilson’s plover, and American oystercatchers will be installed by March 15, weather and shoreline conditions permitting.  Pre-nesting areas for colonial waterbird sites will be installed by April 15. 
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New Park Service report shows economic benefit of parks to Outer Banks

A new National Park Service report shows that 3,050,689 visitors to the Outer Banks Group -- Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial -- spent $175,341.2 million in communities near the parks.  That spending supported 2,469 jobs in the local area.  
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Park Service releases annual resource management reports for 2013

The National Park Service has released its annual resource management reports for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for 2013.

Included are reports on management of piping plovers, seabeach amaranth, and sea turtles, which are federally listed as threatened – and some of the turtles are endangered.   The park also reports on American oystercatchers and colonial water birds, which are not federally listed but are state species of special concern. There is also a report on predator management.
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Park Service campgrounds will begin opening on April 18

The National Park Service campgrounds at Oregon Inlet, Frisco, and Ocracoke will open to the public on Friday, April 18.  Oregon Inlet and Frisco campgrounds will close at noon on Oct. 13.  Ocracoke Island Campground, on a reservation system, will close at noon on Oct. 27. 

Cape Point Campground in Buxton, on Hatteras Island, will open Friday, May 23, for Memorial Day weekend and closes at noon on Sept. 1.
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UPDATE: U.S. House passes Jones bill to overturn ORV plan

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass HR 2954, a package of bills called the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act that includes U.S. Rep. Walter Jones’ proposal to overturn the Park Service’s ORV plan on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
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Repairs begin on Ocracoke soundside boat ramp

The National Park Service announced today that repairs of the Ocracoke soundside boat ramp are scheduled to begin this week.  The boat ramp and adjacent bulkhead were damaged during strong winds and high tides as Hurricane Sandy passed the Outer Banks of North Carolina in late October 2012.  
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Park Service announces reductions in visitor services

The National Park Service today announced changes to several visitor services made necessary by the parks’ budget.  In October, to re-open the government, Congress provided funds at Fiscal Year 2013 levels through January 15, 2014.  Final funding for FY 2014 may not be resolved before then.

“Given our current budget realities and the uncertainty for the future, the National Park Service is exercising extreme caution in spending to ensure that available funding is directed towards the highest priorities,” said Outer Banks Group Superintendent Barclay Trimble.  
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2014 ORV permits go on sale Dec. 1 and will be offered online

The National Park Service announced today that annual and weekly off-road vehicle permits for designated ORV routes in Cape Hatteras National Seashore for the 2014 season will go on sale Dec. 1 and for the first time will offer the option to purchase the permit online.
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Seashore finalizes addition of new public access facilities

The National Park Service is ready to move ahead with adding new public access facilities at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Seashore superintendent Barclay Trimble announced today the approval of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Construction of New Development that Facilitates Public Access Environment Assessment (EA).  The FONSI was approved on Nov. 18 by the Southeast Region Office and culminates nearly two years of planning in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
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Click Here To View 2013 Archived Beach Access Information
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Click Here To View 2011 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2010 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2009 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2008 Archived Beach Access Information

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