SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 21, May 23, 2013

U.S. House Committee Approves Bill to Reopen OHV Access to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff 

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has approved a SEMA-supported bill (HR 819) to reopen Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina to off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation. It has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for further action. A similar bill (S. 486) is scheduled to be considered by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June.  

The bills would reverse a 2012 management plan issued by the National Park Service that banned OHV access to large portions of the seashore. Under current restrictions, about 39% of the seashore is closed to OHV recreation while 42% of the seashore is open year-round and 19% is open at different times during the year. The legislation would reinstate a previous management strategy that provides a better balance between wildlife protections and responsible OHV access. It also protects local retail businesses, hotels, restaurants and campgrounds that have seen a negative economic impact because of reduced visits by OHV enthusiasts.  

For more information, please contact Dan Sadowski at dans@sema.org.

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