April 10, 2008

ORV why Derb Carter should lose - Part 7 or 8 I lost count

Really good column in today's N&O by one Micheal Berry. Mr. Berry is not happy about the SELC and the NPS sittling in a room, outside public view, setting access policy for the CHNS with any public input. He thinks it will lead to bad policy:

There are predictable outcomes from this court action. The settlement will result in restrictive beach usage.

For many years, environmental organizations have targeted the 12 percent of the shoreline that is the most ORV accessible part of the park. In effect they are transforming the most popular recreational areas into six new wildlife refuges, so as to prevent ORVs on the beach.

Under the settlement proceedings, there is no public discussion of economic impact. The "settlement" will definitely affect the lives and economic well-being of thousands of citizens who live and own businesses and property in the villages on the Outer Banks. Businesses will close, and families will suffer. The value of property will decrease.

Just as bad, there will be a substantial loss in recreational enjoyment, such as surf-fishing, for hundreds of thousands of citizens who visit the park and its unique environment.

There will be no serious consideration of environmental fact, because there is no peer-reviewed science to support the claims of species loss as the result of ORV traffic. [emphasis added] Environmental organizations claim expertise that the court accepts at face value, yet there has been no data to support the claims. Science explains how the environment works by way of measurement and quantification. Without data, there is no science. Without science, there is no basis for effective management.

This is not just some jeep jockey blowing off steam. It seems that Mr. Berry has some experience in this field. The N&O tells us that "Michael A. Berry, a former senior manager for the Environmental Protection Agency, served as deputy director of the National Center for Environmental Assessment at RTP. He has taught public health, environmental science and business and environment courses at UNC. He is a consultant specializing in evaluation of environmental quality and human health effects, environmental management strategies and policy."

Take that Derb.
Also the transcript of the hearing last Friday on the prelimnary injunction is now on the Island Free Press web site [article] [transcript] Judge Boyle seems to suggest severe limits (100 not 1000) on vehicles and possibly weight and size limits as well as permitting. If you want an outline of what is coming check it out.
Note: If you want the background just search this blog for ORV or go the Island Free Press for an excellent summary.

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