News | April 29, 2015

Review of Hatteras ORV regs threatens tourism-wildlife balance

The proven track record of both beach-nesting wildlife and tourism thriving in Cape Hatteras National Seashore under successful National Park Service management of off-road vehicles in recent years may be at risk. Today, the National Park Service issued an environmental assessment evaluating its proposed response to federal legislation passed in December 2014 requiring the National Park Service to review and potentially revise limited parts of its off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan.

In the seven years under the National Park Service’s science-based management of beach driving by ORVs, beach-nesting birds, sea turtles, and tourism have all thrived.  The current management plan safeguards beach-nesting wildlife and pedestrian beachgoers on national seashore beaches while still allowing beach driving within the park. 

Julie Youngman, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represents Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife, underscored the success under the current ORV management within the national seashore and commented that “The current park service plan has created a win-win situation for all seashore visitors that should be continued.”

A two week public comment period follows today’s announcement. To submit your comments, click here.