May 10, 2008

ORV Derb won but Monty still wants to fight.

He who knows best knows how little he knows. - Thomas Jefferson
I was afraid that my post about moving on from the access settlement might not sit well with some. Monticello at Outer Banks Republic has drafted a manifesto pointing out, rightly, the flaws of the new approach that I proposed. Much of what he says has merit. There are a lot of people who have been coming to HI and Orcacoke and Oregon Inlet to fish and surf and windsurf and kite surf and do all the things that people do best when they have unfettered access to the beach. Monty is right the modern day surf fisherman carries a lot of gear, the SUV makes it possible (and TW's loves it). The modern day sportsman of any discipline has carries more gear and more optional equipment than even ten years ago. He is right in all those things.
Monty is right that the spirit the Hatteras Island community has demonstrated through this fight and continues to demonstrate is an inspiration. Monty is right that singling out the Cadillac Escalade for my SUV example was a cheap and inaccurate shot, intended to get under his skin (at least I accomplished that).
I agree with Monte when he writes that:
the lack of any credible science to prove ORV's cause declines in bird populations, this entire court decision is nothing more than---bullshit.
The only place we disagree is that none of this matters. We can not go back to the old ways and the sooner we figure out the new ways the better off we will be. People may not want to hear it but there is NO GOING BACK. You are already looking at the de-facto plan coming from the neg reg process. The E(nvironmental) groups won't accept anything less and they have shown they are more than ready to go to court to fight. If the new rules allow access much beyond the consent decree they will file a challenge under the Endangered Species Act, Judge Boyle will hear the case and THEY WILL WIN! Go read their briefs and go read the NPS and intervenor briefs. There is little room for argument. Anything that impacts an endangered species can be stopped. They already have all the science they need in form of the USGS study for the NPS, the people who will be being sued.
Monty disparages my ideas of more access areas and some form of limited licensed vehicular access. I am not surprised. Monty has pointed out some valid limits to this strategy, so what is the next strategy? Lets start planning the Hula Hoop Hall of Fame or maybe organize a major canasta tournament. Some other draw to bring people down. Maybe we need to build a bunch of bowling alleys or some kind of new Internet Virtual Fishing Centers or whatever. The point is not that the new rules are unjust, the point is the new rules will ruin us unless we change.
The mantra of the successful organization in the 21st century is "Adapt or Die". We are not exempt from that rule. Either we work to choose our future or we have our future imposed on us.
There is no support for the plight of Hatteras Island businesses west of the Alligator River. Go read the comments on K. Kozak's article yesterday. Yes the comments are laughably uninformed and tragically insensitive but the represent how much of the nation views this battle. There is not wellspring of support that is suddenly going to rise up and remove the limits. In fact the opposite is exactly true. Audubon, DoW and the SELC will raise more money in California through there win than all the motels on Hatteras Island will take in this summer.
I may not have the right model for the new economy, but there is one and we need to start talking about it. Monty, you get one more post to cry about not not driving your Rav4 with your 40 rods and case of Reisling to Cape Point. Then you have to join me in the real world and help figure this one out.

There is one element of the future that I think Monty sees quite accurately:
I think these birdwatchers will be exempted from the very rules they propose because someone will need to study and catalog the birds as the new rules are enacted; i.e., their access into restricted areas will continue.
The Coastal Federation currently leads "expeditions" Cape Lookout National Seashore. The unpopulated barrier island off the coast near Beaufort. Expect the same type of "educational experience" to start happening in the restricted areas around the CHNS. I understand that you the public can get to Cape Lookout so the situations are not exactly parallel but its close enough to
Expect Audubon or NCCF or the Outer Banks bird club start leading educational expeditions very soon. I don't know the personalities involved and from I gather I am glad I don't. There appear to be some very self-serving and pompous people planning profiting from recent developments.


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At 2:10 PM, Blogger Monticello said...

Nice post. More from my blog later. I guess that my point is this: Why does only one side get to "adapt"? All over the country, this same thing is happening. But, in some parts of the country,the other side wins. For example, in the wild, wild west, the public was able to beat back these environmental groups and restore ATV's and snowmobiles to National Parks. They got Congress to do it.

Adapt or die is an excellent mantra if you are in the marketplace selling a product. It is not always such a good idea to fold your tent in front of one judge before all routes are exhausted. Certain groups in the rest of the country may very well care, and it might be time for Dare County to start making alliances and connections.

Again, good post.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger BOBXNC said...

I appreciate everyone's resistance to giving up. Maybe there is another way to win, though Derb seems to have a strong hand. I enjoyed you piece and look forward to reading more.
Thanks for stopping by.


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