Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4094 and Oversight Hearing on "Access Denied: Turning Away Visitors to National Parks"
Friday, April 27, 2012 9:00 AM
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
1324 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Friday, April 27, 2012
9:00 a.m.

LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON:

  • H. R. 4094 (W. Jones), To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes. "Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act"

AND OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Access Denied: Turning Away Visitors to National Parks"

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-NC (H.R. 4094)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL (Oversight hearing)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL (Oversight hearing)

Panel II

Testifying on HR 4094 and Oversight Hearing

Herbert C. Frost
Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

H.R. 4094

Warren Judge
Dare County Board of Commissioners
Dare County Government, NC

John Couch
President
Outer Banks Preservation Association, NC
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Oversight Hearing

Kenneth W. Wright
Vice Chairman
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

KC Crook
Florida Resident
(Truth in Testimony Form)

John J. Curlett
Florida Resident
(Truth in Testimony Form)

BACKGROUND:

The National Park Service is pushing a new management plan at Biscayne National Park that will eliminate access to over 10,000 acres of sport fishing waters and dissuade visitation to other areas of the park. Fishing is an important economic activity that draws tourists and provides locals with an excellent outdoor recreational opportunity. Access to Cape Hatteras National Recreational Area has been severely limited by Park Service management and environmental lawsuits under the guise of species protection. Not only have vehicles been restricted from areas traditionally available, but in some areas pedestrian access was eliminated as well. Due to severe enforcement under the current management plan, local business have seen 50% declines and 19 families were recently put at risk when the Park Service denied access to a stretch of beach needed to retreat from the rising tides.

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