Law & Order

National Park Services Offers Five Alternatives for Managing OHV Use at Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for managing off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity at Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina. The DEIS Plan considers four alternatives for OHV management, along with a fifth alternative that would prohibit OHV activity altogether. The OHV management plans would range from continuing the current activities to designating specific routes and establishing permitting requirements. The NPS supports an alternative to designate specific OHV routes and areas, establish a permit program that would maintain OHV use at historical levels, phase-out high-performance sport model and two stroke ATVs and UTVs with seasonal use restrictions and establish seasonal night-driving restrictions.

Cape Lookout National Seashore is 56 miles long and forms the southern section of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The NPS OHV management plan for Cape Hatteras, to the north, has already been the subject of legal challenges as being overly restrictive. SEMA has supported efforts in Congress to enact legislation reversing a 2012 management plan banning access to about 39% of the Cape Hatteras seashore and restricting access to another 19% of the area. SEMA contends the legislation provides balanced safeguards for wildlife and responsible OHV activities. The legislation (HR 819; S. 486) is pending floor action by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at