Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cape Hatteras National Seashore-Off-Road Vehicle Management
The National Park Service (NPS) amends its special regulation for off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina, to revise the times that certain beaches open to ORV use in the morning, to extend the dates that certain seasonal ORV routes are open in the fall and spring, and to modify the size and location of certain vehicle-free areas. The NPS was required to consider these changes by section 3057 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. The NPS also amends this special regulation to allow the Superintendent to issue ORV permits for different lengths of time than are currently allowed, and to remove an ORV route designation on Ocracoke Island to allow vehicle access to a soundside area without the requirement of an ORV permit.
Background: Description of Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Situated along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore or park) was authorized by Congress in 1937 and established in 1953 as the nation's first national seashore. Consisting of more than thirty thousand acres distributed along approximately 67 miles of shoreline, the Seashore is part of a dynamic barrier island system.
The Seashore contains important wildlife habitat created by dynamic environmental processes. Several species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including the piping plover, rufa subspecies of the red knot, and five species of sea turtles, are found within the park. The Seashore also serves as a popular recreation destination where users participate in a variety of activities.
Source: Federal Register