County of Dare
|For Immediate Release: 6/19/2012||Contact: Public Relations Office
Beach Access Legislation Passes in the House of Representatives
In a historic legislative move, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 4094 to restore reasonable access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. The bill, introduced by Congressman Walter Jones, was approved Tuesday, June 19, 2012 and passed in a 232 to 188 vote.
H.R. 4094 was included in a package of bills grouped together under H.R. 2578, known as the Conservation and Economic Growth Act. The bill would reinstate the Interim Management Plan that was in place prior to the restrictive consent decree and ORV Rule implemented by the National Park Service.
The 2008 consent decree imposed rigid and severe beach access restrictions that have hurt the local economy and limited the Superintendent from utilizing an active management approach that would better help wildlife at the seashore
Chairman Warren Judge, who testified before a Congressional Subcommittee urging the passage of H.R. 4094, described the significance of today's vote. "The House of Representatives has passed a landmark piece of legislation," Judge said. "It will provide reasonable recreational access in a way that utilizes science based resource management for shorebirds and turtles." Judge added, "H.R. 4094 represents a true win-win situation, for both people and wildlife."
Vice-Chairman Allen Burrus thanked Congressman Walter Jones and his staff for their efforts to get House passage of H.R. 4094. "They did the right thing for the people of Hatteras Island and the businesses that have suffered for too long," Burrus said. "My hope is that this will be a stepping stone to pass similar legislation in the U.S. Senate."
A companion bill has been sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Burr and Senator Kay Hagan. Senate Bill 2372 will be the subject of a Congressional Hearing next week.