National Park Service (NPS)

NPS releases report to Congress on ORV  legislation

 

Pelicans enjoy the winter sunshine on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore at the north end of Ocracoke.

Pelicans enjoy the winter sunshine on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore at the north end of Ocracoke. Photo by C. Leinbach

The National Park Service has delivered its report on completing tasks assigned in certain public land legislation including one in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore as required by legislation passed in December 2014.

The legislation–Public Law 113-291, the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA) –contained a package of public lands bills. 
Section 3057 of the NDAA, passed by Congress on Dec. 19, 2014, directed the Secretary of the Interior to take the following actions at Cape Hatteras National Seashore: 
1) review and modify wildlife buffers and designate pedestrian and vehicle corridors;
2) undertake a public process to consider modifications to the 2012 Final Rule pertaining to off-road vehicle use; 
3) expedite construction of new vehicle access points; 
4) report to Congress within one year of the enactment of the NDAA.
“The secretary has completed or made substantial progress towards completing these tasks,” according to the brief, five-page report to Congress, released to the public Dec. 16. 

“In close coordination with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a review and modification of wildlife buffers was finalized on June 16, within 180 days as required by the NDAA,” the report says.
The report says a public process is underway to consider modifications to the Off-Road Vehicle Final Rule. Public scoping meetings were held in August and the Seashore has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment, scheduled for public release and review in January.
Finally, the report says that seashore officials expedited the construction of all off-road vehicle access projects that were previously planned for implementation.
The full report is available online at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/management/upload/151215_NDAA_Implementation_CAHA.pdf and provides information on measures taken to date to implement section 3057 of the NDAA.