Last fall thousands of people sent letters urging the National Park Service to protect beach-nesting sea turtles and other wildlife at Cape Hatteras National Seashore from off-road vehicles; the Service responded with a balanced plan that limits ORV use to areas and times when wildlife will be unaffected.
But now a bill in Congress is threatening to undo these critical new protections. H.R. 4094 is a bull-dozing bill that would undermine the public's will and undo new protections for endangered sea turtles which use the beach to nest and lay their eggs. In fact, it would allow ORV use across the entire park. Unrestricted ORV use has been documented to kill sea turtles.
Cape Hatteras is a treasure where millions of people vacation for the natural beauty and amazing wildlife. Please speak up to oppose this dangerous bill and protect endangered nesting sea turtles and shorebirds at North Carolina's Outer Banks.
I am writing to urge you to protect wildlife on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore by opposing H.B. 4094. After an extensive public comment period, the National Park Service developed a management plan for Cape Hatteras last year that both protects wildlife and allows off-road vehicles in some areas of the seashore.
H.B. 4094, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), would undermine the Park Service's planning process, ignore extensive public comment and overturn decades-old regulations that allow the Park Service to manage ORV policies. It has been introduced in the House Judiciary Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee, and I urge you to oppose this irresponsible bill.
Cape Hatteras is a national treasure where millions of people vacation and endangered sea turtles and shorebirds nest. Allowing unrestricted ORV use across the entire park would threaten wildlife and ruin the relaxing, natural experience people expect. Though many conservationists asked that the entire seashore be closed to beach driving, the National Park Service developed a compromised plan that would allow ORVs in 41 miles of the 67-mile park. The plan allows extensive ORV use while seasonally restricting driving on sensitive parts of the shoreline to protect endangered wildlife. In addition to allowing ORVs in most of the park, the Park Service's current plan would also create new parking lots, ORV ramps and shuttles to the shore to increase tourism.
The Park Service's current plan, developed with the input of thousands of citizens, would both increase protections for endangered wildlife and promote tourism. H.B. 4094 is a bull-dozing bill that would overturn an executive order signed by Richard Nixon that requires all ORV policies be managed by the Park Service.
Please oppose H.B. 4094. Allow the Park Service to manage ORVs at North Carolina's Outer Banks and protect this special place.
Thank you in advance. I look forward to hearing from you on this issue.
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