CHAPA FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST USFWS
COMMUNITY AND POLITICAL LEADERS FILE SUIT CHALLENGING THE
Two counties in the Outer Banks area, Dare and Hyde counties, have joined with the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation
Alliance (CHAPA) in a suit to challenge a critical habitat designation by the
federal government. The suit was filed in federal court in
The critical habitat designation directly impacts several
popular recreational areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore including
both sides of
If the designation remains unchanged, it could severely restrict and possibly close areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to vehicle and other access by fisherman and other human activity. Environmental activists may even use the designation to further their agenda of stopping all vehicle access to, and other issues of national seashores.
The impact of such restrictions on the most popular areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore would be devastating. The loss of tourist revenue would affect many businesses and cripple the local economy. Indeed, this designation adds no additional benefit for the Piping Plover. The NPS already has in place effective management practices for preserving the habitat of the small bird, and residents and visitors work with the NPS to ensure that vehicle use does not impact the Plovers habitat area. The USFWS designation simply adds another layer of unnecessary federal control.
Officials with the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance
(CHAPA) have tried to get USFWS to reconsider the decision because of the
potentially serious economic impact it could have on one of the nation's most
popular tourist destinations. Those efforts failed and the commissioners for
CHAPA is a project of the Outer Banks Preservation
Association (OBPA), in concert with the North Carolina Beach Buggy
Association, Cape Lookout Mobile Sportfishermen,
Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, United Mobile Sportfishermen,
the Ocracoke Civic Association, the Hatteras
Village Civic Association, the
Contributions to CHAPA, a 501(c) (3) organization, are fully tax deductible under IRS regulations. The OBPA, with a membership of over 2300 citizens from twenty-eight states, was founded in 1977 in response to proposals to reduce access to the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and continues to be a stalwart guardian of the public right to free and open access to, and responsible use and enjoyment of, the public lands.