Cape Hatteras National Seashore Gains Approval For 29 New Public Access Points To Beaches

Visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore soon will have 29 new access points for exploring the seashore's beaches under a plan stemming from its off-road vehicle management plan.

The projects, ranging from parking lots and off-road vehicle ramps to handicap accessible boardwalks, were outlined in the seashore's Construction of New Development that Facilities Public Access Environment Assessment. After nearly two years of planning, the project list was approved in mid-November by the National Park Service's Southeast Region office.

The new access areas will create or improve 15 parking areas, 1 paved and 2 unpaved roads, 5 off-road vehicle ramps, 5 foot paths, 11 accessible boardwalks, and the elevation of an existing flood-prone road section. These access improvements will facilitate ORV and pedestrian access to areas of the Seashore and increase access for visitors with disabilities while minimizing conflicts between a wide variety of recreational users in the seashore, park officials said in a release.

The improved access points will protect the seashore's natural, cultural, scenic and aesthetic aspects as well as address mutual concerns with local communities and governments who expressed concerns about potential safety issues with road shoulder parking along NC Hwy 12.

Alternate Text
Map of new access points to be developed. NPS graphic.

The projects:

* A 10-car parking at the former site of the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Bodie Island

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at Coquina Beach on Bodie Island

* Additional access road from NC-12 to fee station at Coquina Beach

* An ORV ramp and 10-car parking area 0.5 miles south of Coquina Beach (New Ramp 2.5)

* A 10-car parking area with foot trail to Bodie Island Spit at Ramp 4

* A 20-car parking area and handicap accessible boardwalk at Ramp 23 (Salvo)

* A 10-car parking area about 1.0 mile south of Ramp 23 with foot trail to the beach

* An ORV Ramp 25.5 with foot trail or boardwalk to the beach

* A 5-car parking area and foot trail to beach (beachside) at soundside Ramp 48

* An ORV Ramp 32.5 (Little Kinnakeet) with a 10-car parking area and foot trail to the beach

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at Ramp 34

* A handicap accessible boardwalk to sound at Haulover Beach Parking Area

* A 15-car parking area west side of highway at/near Kite Point

* A 15-car parking area at soundside access #59 with foot trail from highway to beach

* A 5-car parking area west side of highway at/near soundside access 60

* A 50-car parking area at the former Buxton Coast Guard Station with handicap accessible boardwalk

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at Lighthouse Beach

* A 3-car parking area at Loran Road w/ new handicap accessible boardwalk to the beach

* An elevated section of Lighthouse Rd to address flooding at ramps 43 and 44

* An unpaved IDR between Ramp 45 and 49 w/new ORV Ramp 48 to the beach (Ramp has been moved from 47.5 to 48)

* Widen Ramp 49 and add connector road and 5 car parking area to Billy Mitchell Rd. near Frisco Campground

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at the Ramp 55 parking area on Hatteras Island

* An unimproved 20-car parking area near the Pole Road/Spur Road intersection

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at/near north ferry terminal parking area on Ocracoke * An ORV Ramp 59.5 at north Ocracoke

* A 5-car parking area at the west side of highway entrance of Borrow Pit Road

* An ORV Ramp 63 across from Scrag Cedar Road

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at the Ocracoke Pony Pens

* A handicap accessible boardwalk at the Ocracoke Day Use Area

Comments

Will this help solve some of the entitlement problems at Hatteras?

The above story is just more evidence that (as some of our regulars insist) the NPS is doing its best to shut the public out of the park :-)

How will 29 new public access points help "shut the public out of the park?"

Was your comment serious, or was it a sarcastic remark?

I think the wink at the end signified sarcasm, Lee.

Lee - sorry, that was definitely intended to be sarcasm. Looks to me like the park is making a serious effort to improve public access, despite claims by some of our regulars to the contrary.

The Anglers club would say what difference does more parking lots and boardwalks mean if the beach they are there to help you access is closed?

I sympathize with the locals but I just don't think things could continue as they had in this day and time.

It's all political, they are taking a lot of heat over this mess. It is unnecessary and a waste of money. With nearly 300,000 per visitors a month, I disagree that 5 or 10 parking spaces here and there will do anything to improve visitor experience. Destruction of 15+ acres of wildlife habitat because that Vehicle Free Area is "that area of Beach is difficult to access by foot " is thier attempt to fix the problem they created, that's rich.They should have installed some of those board walks long, long time ago. I doubt anyone thinks breaching anymore of the dune line is a good idea anywhere on this island. Access was fine and there was a good balance of ramps...

The new $120 ORV permit user pays for these pedestrian access improvements, but pedestrians pay nothing. The VFAs are certainly not being utilized now and doubt this will change that. It will be years, if ever, that these changes will be made...

Really?

You're denigrating a page-and-a-half list of projects as 'a talking point'? 'A bone?'

Here's the way it works. If I'm a member of a group that doesn't think the Washington Monument will ever get built, then I find myself wading in the Refecting Pool, look up, and see this big monolisque in the sky, my most graceful move is to cuckle and say "Sonovagun - you got this one right."

My time at Hatteras ended just as the ORV issue was heating up. So while there seemed to be plenty of access points back then, I can see how with the way the park is being managed today (because a federal judge forced the NPS to start enforcing the law) it is a different situation. After giving this a little more thought it looks like they are trying to do is open more paths to beach acces to compensate for those that might be unusable because of shorebird or turtle closure. For example right now you might have miles of beach either north or south of a closure that is technicaly open but is difficult to access because the parking lot/ boardwalk or ORV ramp that would normally get you there is shutdown because of a nest closure. It is like trying to get into a house where the only door is blocked and you can't open it. What do you do to acces the other parts of the house? Cut open some more doors.

It is a long list but most of these are really penny ante type projects. Some of them are nothing more than putting some stipes down and formally calling something a parking lot that had been a pull off point anyway.

I can't comment on the pros and cons of the specific sites chosen, but based on the above map, it appears there's been an effort to spread these new access points throughout the seashore, and include a variety of uses, from handicapped access and standard trails to ORV access. If some view that as "tossing a bone" to the public, so be it. A different approach would draw criticism for other reasons.

BeachDumb doesn't think "5 or 10 parking spaces here and there will do anything to improve visitor experience," but on the contrary, I'd suggest they can greatly improve the experience for visitors who choose to use them.

Several smaller parking areas at intervals vs. one larger one give visitors the option to enjoy a short trail and/or section of beach that is less likely to be crowded. When I visit parks, I frequently seek out such opportunities.

BeachDumb seems so determined to find fault with everything attempted by this park that it would be humorous if it wasn't so sad. One one hand he or she says, "It is unnecessary and a waste of money" and on the other, "They should have installed some of those board walks long, long time ago."

Unfortunately, you can't please everyone ... which is one of the reasons running a park is never easy.

Perpetual Seasonal, the park agreed to this under the ORV management plan adopted early in 2012.

I have lived on Hatteras Island for 40 years.

One reason for the vehicle free areas (VFA) in CHNS that is seldom mentioned has to do with the Enabling Legislation for the park. Anyone who visited the park in the 60's would have seen all the Park opened to ORV use but could access miles of beach by parking and walking and never see a vehicle. Lots of us came to CHNS to enjoy recreating in a "primitive wilderness".

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Parking Lot
Latter on so many of us came with ORVs that by early 2000's you could not find a section of beach that was not full of tire ruts and parked vehicles or have vehicle driving by. On ORV accessible beaches all the beach, dune to tideline, with no separation from pedestrians is an ORV trail! Is this anyone's (other than ORV special interest) idea of a National Park?
What is the problem establishing some VFAs (with equitable amounts of ORV accessible areas) where access requires walks on a flat sand beach for a couple of miles? Not everyone has the ability or desire to walk that far and it preserves small parts of the Seashore as somewhat remote and "primitive". The problem is that the local ORV/ fishing orgs (bet Beachbumb is a member of all 3 of them) have become very politically powerful. They continue to poke a stick in the eye of any individual or organization that deviates from their goal of ORV access. The way these orgs members slander all conservation groups and the NPS is the height of hypocrisy. They never miss an opportunity to poke a stick in your eye.
You would think that visitors with ORVs would be happy to have better access to the areas that can't be accessed by vehicles. The truth is they are lobbying to reverse the VFAs and don't want any improvement to these areas for that reason. The park has been maintaining ORV infrastructure for years with no ORV fees.
The Park should promote their role in maintaining the intent of this Seashore and delineate and promote the VFAs while providing appropriate infrastructure for visitors to these areas.

CHNS enabling legislation

"Except for certain portions of the area, deemed to be especially adaptable for recreational uses, particularly swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, and other recreational activities of similar nature, which shall be developed for such uses as needed, the said area shall be permanently reserved as a primitive wilderness and no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions now prevailing in this area."

ORV access is not mentioned or guaranteed anywhere in the EL.

Thank you, Buxton.

Dittos Lee, I also agree with Buxton. Here in California, we have a great State Park, Pismo Beach, that is open to all types of ORVs. Every time any mention of some restrictions on said ORVs are brought up, the resulting furor is something to witness. I have camped there many times, as you can drive on beach and find a spot that is so designated. It is quite an experience, my little pickup camper has been the subject of all kinds of late night activities including being circled by ORVs just like the old western movies, This at one or two o'clock in the morning, Watching the dirt bikes, dune buggies, etc. chasing the shore birds at all hours of the day and night is disconcerting. Do not go there on a weekend. I am not opposed to some sharing of the beach with these users, I know they are having a great time. But, Buxton is right, in my own opinion, ecological considerations, etc are also part of the mission of these areas.

Good post, Buxton and you are no doubt right about beachdumb. He may be a charter member of at least two of the groups.

Rick

Ron, your experiences, and Buxton's mirror experiences in wild place here in Utah where ORVs are permitted -- and some places where they are not. Perhaps the behavior of so many of their owners is a result of inhaling too much exhaust gas -- and other intoxicants.

Heaven help anyone foolish enough to speak out in favor of limits on ORV use. You automatically become one who is in favor of locking every older and disabled citizen out of any possible enjoyment of the outdoors.

Buxton, in those 40 years have you ever been to the nothern part of Hatteras Island? There is a 13 mile stretch of the seashore that hasn't had ORV on it since 1977. The wife and I enjoy walking there a lot, you should try it sometime. You also may not be aware that beaches in front of the villages are seasonally closed to ORVs for as long as I can remember. You should also be aware that there are other stretches of beach within the park that have been off limits to ORVs for a long time but I know that these are inconvenient truths.

When we stay in Avon and want to enjoy an inlet beach experience we have to drive 15+ miles to get there. If we wanted a no vehicle beach experience we drove 10+ miles to that northern part beause it is our favorite.

Almost all National Seashores allow ORV access to the beach, it's an accepted mode of travel with national parks. Those tire tracks in the sand are erased every tide and storm, you should try low tide.

I aware of only two groups that actively lobby for access to the beaches. I became a donator/member of OBPA shortly after the event I witnessed in 2005. I was not appalled that the beach was closed, but was with the line hundred yard line of barricades and NPS in bullet proof vests and assault rifles. This was upsetting and led to my learning about that organization. Thier motto since it's inception in 70s is "Preserve and Protect Not Prohibit". I still donate every year, but calling them politically powerful is laughable. They don't stand a chance against the dark side. They have been able to do little if anything, unlike the really politically powerful groups like Audubon and DOW.

The park has been maintaining pedestrian access for years also. What is your point?

I don't see walking mentioned or gauranteed in the EL either...

Rmackie, dirt bikes and dune buggies have never been allowed at CHNSRA. The new management plan prohibits camping, beach fires, kite flying and dogs off leash. I suspect that the ORV crowd at CHNSRA is much more respectful of the beach then out there.

Lee, I have always been in favor of the ORV permit and few other ORV regs, thought it would reduce the 2 wheel drives always stuck on the ramps...

Beachdumb, I must tell you I know little about Cape Hatteras. I have never had the opportunity to get there. Your post does make some points, particularly the one on no camping on the beach. I must admit I am a firm believer in campsites, if you or other posters on this website have more information on the issue, it would be interesting to me. The single biggest issue in the almost 15 years of controversy over post 1997 Yosemite flood recovery planing efforts in Yosemite, when the litigation began, was the NPS decision to remove 500 plus campsites from Yosemite Valley while at the same time proposing 500 new motel/hotel units to be constructed in their place. I would like to know more, but if you are correct, I am with you on that issue. Yes, at Pismo Beach State Park, the motor homes do not present the problem, in my own experience, that the the other ORVs do, unless they bring with them all the dune buggies, etc.

Ron, unless there's been a change, camping is allowed at Cape Hatteras, there are four NPS campgrounds, including some that offer sites among the dunes.

http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Now, they don't let you just go to any other beach and camp, so perhaps that's what Beachdumb was referring to.

It seems to me the new rules and fees in Hatteras are in line with the rules at Assateague.

Except for the carrying capacity. At Assateague, the ORVs allowed is limited to 145 at any given time or about 12 per mile. In Hatteras, the density allowed is one per 20 feet of road mile. Hatteras allows more per mile than Assateague allows on the entire beach. Honestly, I see nothing attractive in spending the day in a cross between a parking lot, rush hour traffic, and combat fishing, even if it is on a beautiful beach.

Beachdumb, Almost all National Seashores allow ORV use without limits and permits? Cape Code requires a permit and has use limits and vehicle free areas, same at Assateague. Gulf Islands, no ORV use. No ORV use at Cape Canaveral. Fire Island has extensive vehicle free areas. Point Reyes has no ORV use. Cape Lookout and Padre Island have the fewest limitations on ORV's but due to the remoteness and the limited access to each of those they also do not have the use levels that existed at Cape Cod, Assateage and Hatteras. That is far from almost all National Seashores.

In a post yesterday, beachdumb mentions several examples of areas at Cape Hatteras that are closed to ORV use, suggesting that those areas should be adequate to satisfy users who want to enjoy a beach visit free from vehicle traffic.

If that's the case, one has to wonder why, in similar fashion, ORV users should not be equally satisfied with the areas of the park that are open to that type of use.

There are lots of competing interest groups and types of users at this park, and complicating the whole equation are requirements imposed on park management by court decisions. Under such circumstances, it is nigh onto impossible to please everyone.

This is a large park, with opportunities for a wide variety of activities - and some are not compatible with others. The park has taken a "zoning" approach to try to accommodate various mandates and interests, but some like beachdumb will likely never be satisfied with anything short of elimination of all limits on their favored activities.

Kurt, yes that is what I referring to. Although, the once popular Cape Point campground has been removed from registration system, reduced open times, and through continued mismanagement allowed to be constantly flooded. Also, because of the new excessive closures, the beaches bordering the campground are not accessible to pedestrians or ORVs most the now limited time it's open. It's been virtually empty the past several years...

Mtnliving, your assumption is wrong. I have always been in favor of a permit, and could accept seasonal closures of some of the now VFAs. What I have exception with is the size of the closures and closures for non-threatened and non-endangered species. And these closures prevent pedestrian access as well.

As far as I know, everyone, except enviros, accepted and approved the rules/regs in the 2007 plan. What we have now went way to far and the majority of visitors are not happy with it, hence the strong community disapproval, governors disapproval, and bills in congress to change or remove this new MP. It's not just ORV people that are unhappy...

Bottom line is most these changes would not necessary if the new MP had not made so many areas inaccessible by ORV.

Old Ranger, I never said ORV access without limits or permits. ORV access on CHNSRA has been regulated for as long as I know. There have been designated ramps, trails, speed limits, resource and safety closures, etc. Many falsely believe the NPS did nothing before this new MP plan and allowed unchecked ORV use but that is it not true. They were using a MP that was technically not approved, simply because it had not put into the Federal Register. The story was it was lost in the beauracracy at the NPS Atlanta office, and they failed for years to follow up, thus opening the door for law the suits.

The difficulty in solving the issues at Cape Hatteras is illustrated by the widely differing interpretation of words by various groups. The situation brings to mind a sign I once saw tacked to a tree in a rural area: "Posted – No Trespassing. East Texas Wildlife Preservation Association."

A private wildlife refuge? Nope, the property in question was leased by a private hunting club.

A corresponding example is found at Hatteras in beachdumb's mention of the slogan for the OBPA (Outer Banks Preservation Association): "Preserve and Protect, Not Prohibit."

Based on a quick look at that group's website, what they want to "preserve and protect" seems to be their definition of "traditional" beach use and access, including ORV use. They also say they support "reasonable protection steps" for wildlife without "unduly limiting ORV access to the beaches."

By contrast, some wildlife protection groups take a much different interpretation of what "preserve and protect" and "reasonable" means when applied to activities and resources in the park.

Is there any middle ground in these issues? Now that lawyers and judges have weighed into the fray, it will be harder to find solutions. It seems unlikely that the individuals and groups on both ends of the spectrum will ever be fully satisfied, but one has to wonder about the impact of these issues on other visitors.

beachdumb says "the majority of visitors are not happy" with the current situation, but based on comments offered on another recent thread about increases in park visits and income for many area businesses, it would appear that quite a few visitors to the area are sufficiently satisfied with opportunities to enjoy the park that they keep on coming.

Beachdumb, Following is an exerpt from your post from 12/8 at 9:20 pm.

"Almost all National Seashores allow ORV access to the beach, it's an accepted mode of travel with national parks. Those tire tracks in the sand are erased every tide and storm, you should try low tide."

This statement appears to imply that ORV access is common on "Almost all National Seashores". When in reality it is, in general, greatly limited if not prohibited, at almost all National Seashores.

Jim, the fact is the NPS own visitation numbers show that, link in that thread, the numbers have yet to recover since this mess started. It started way before the new MP became effective. A lot of business owners closed up since then, while peak season has been okay, the loss of the shoulder season has proven difficult or impossible to survive changes forced upon them by the NPS...

Some thoerize that due to BP spill and Hurricane Sandy have brought in more peak season visitors. I met a couple on the beach in 2011 that said they would have probably never come if it were not for the BP spill but I realise you will think that's just coincindence...

Thank you Traveler and the other posts. . I do think it is important to proptect the ecological resources, that usually means restrictions on public use to some extent. Interesting discussion.

Beachdumb,

"Buxton, in those 40 years have you ever been to the nothern part of Hatteras Island? "

"There is a 13 mile stretch of the seashore that hasn't had ORV on it since 1977. The wife and I enjoy walking there a lot, you should try it sometime."

You know the answer to that question as the only road out of CHNS and Hatteras Island goes through the "northern part of Hatteras Island". The 13 miles of no ORV zone is all administered and managed by Fish and Wildlife not the NPS. It is a national wildlife refugee (PINWR). It is a great place to surf, fish, bird watch and walk as are other VFAs in CHNS.

"You also may not be aware that beaches in front of the villages are seasonally closed to ORVs for as long as I can remember. You should also be aware that there are other stretches of beach within the park that have been off limits to ORVs for a long time but I know that these are inconvenient truths."
You don't really think anyone that lives here doesn't know that the villages beaches are packed with visitors and driving there is a safety issue besides a recreational conflict and closed to vehicles now for 7 months of the year ( Oct 31- April 1) . What you most likely don't know is that the beaches that were closed to ORVs in the past (other than the seasonal closed beaches in front of the villages that were closed from May 16- Sept 16) were all temporarily closed to ORV use because of unsafe driving conditions not because they were dedicated pedestrian only areas. The problems for visitors expecting established VFAs was these beaches were continually being lobbied by the ORV groups to be opened to vehicles and many of the beaches that visitors thought were pedestrian beaches were reopened to ORV use before the final plan established permanent year round VFAs. Currently the ORV groups are trying to reverse a good portion of VFAs that were designated in the recent ORV rule to be reassigned as ORV accessible beaches.

"Those tire tracks in the sand are erased every tide and storm, you should try low tide."
Im guessing this is just more sarcasm and you are not really suggesting that I only go to the beach at low tide after a big storm so I can enjoy a beach void of tire tracks. Most ORV users drive just above the high tide line where tire tracks get deep and remain until there is a very large, prolonged and severe weather event. For those ORV access users driving below the high tide line be aware that is a good way to get your vehicle stuck and then have an incoming tide destroy it (happened many times) in addition to it being inconsiderate to those that are fishing with rods spikes buried in the sand or individuals walking on the low tide beach.

" I was not appalled that the beach was closed, but was with the line hundred yard line of barricades and NPS in bullet proof vests and assault rifles. This was upsetting and led to my learning about that organisation."
There were widespread threats of civil disobedience, even messages on local chat boards suggesting visitors bring their guns, park bathrooms and buildings were vandalized and some even burned. The actions of ORV advocates involved suggested that this was exactly the correct response by NPS mangers. I think that because the NPS responded this way it did is the reason there was no violence.

"Their motto since it's inception in 70s is "Preserve and Protect Not Prohibit". I still donate every year, but calling them politically powerful is laughable. They don't stand a chance against the dark side. They have been able to do little if anything, unlike the really politically powerful groups like Audubon and DOW."
Not only are these groups extremely powerful but they are singly focused on gaining as much unhindered ORV access as possible they also have partnered with powerful local government (Dare County) who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting their efforts.
(Calling Audubon, DOW and NPCA the "dark side" is some creative hyperbole.)

"The park has been maintaining pedestrian access for years also. What is your point?"
The Park had only been maintaining limited pedestrian access in front of the villages from May to September.

"I don't see walking mentioned or gauranteed in the EL either.."
Walking doesnt have to be mentioned because there was not an executive order that required a walking plan. For there to be ORV use it has to be regulated (designated routes and areas) and managed with an approved plan which is why CHNS finally developed an ORV plan. The 3 ORV groups (NC Beach Buggy Association, Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, and OBPA) are all actively trying to change the final ORV rule. There is still a bill floating around in Congress to try and do that.

"Rmackie, dirt bikes and dune buggies have never been allowed at CHNSRA. The new management plan prohibits camping, beach fires, kite flying and dogs off leash"
You are mistaken in the past dirt bikes were allowed and so were dune buggies if they had a valid license and were street legal (think it is still that way). Beach fires are still allowed by permit with regulations, camping other than in designated areas has never been allowed, dogs have always had to on a leash and kites are permitted (at least Kiteboarding Kites).

Beachdumb I have gone back, edited this post and double checked what I said. If I made any mistakes I would appreciate knowing what they are.






Buxton... I enjoy your posts for their courtesy, ring of truth, and experienced insight.
Perhaps for balance you could use the nym 'beachsmart'.

Buxton, thank you for a quiet voice of reasonableness.

Buxton is not telling the whole truth, just dodging, spinning and delusional. You are entitled to make up whatever you want, as you have...

Thank you Buxton for your calm, reasoned responses. I think I'm beginning to get a clear picture of the nature of the conflict at Cape Hatteras. If Beachdumb is representing the ORV user groups and their tactics, then they appear to shout down opposing views, call those with other prospectives liars ("not telling the whole truth") and crazy ("delusional"). It doesn't sound like there is much hope of a reasonable exchange of ideas and differing thoughts. I also checked the Cape Hatteras web site and found that, contrary to beachdumbs assertion that kite flying was prohibted, that kite flying is only prohibited within and above all bird closures. That sounds like a reasonable limitation to me and is far from a complete ban on kite flying. After all isn't all visitor use prohibited within resouorce closures. So Buxton you have a ring of truth to your messages. Thank you again.

I don't know, Old Ranger. Your post sounds like more liberal enviro wacko talk.

Thank you Buxton and Old Ranger, I learned much from your posts. If I can digress for a minute, Perpetual seasonal, on the issue of seasonal and temporary employment hires in the private and federal sectors, there is a very interesting article in the "Nation" magazine (December 16th issue), titled "Holiday Crush". Really well done by author Gabriel Thompson, it is a description of her "brief stressful life as a warehouse TEMP in Southern California's Inland empire, the beating heart of America's online shopping frenzy". An interesting read, it touches on both the private sector and federal agency abuse of this type of employment opportunity. She has also written a book on the issue, "Working in the Shadows". Your concerns about TEMP employment are gaining some national attention.


abuse of this type of employment opportunity


Abuse? Someone voluntarily entering into an employment agreement isn't being abused unless there is some fraud or misrepresentation.

It becomes abuse when employers use that kind of job to hire good people on the cheap who, in today's job market, cannot find anything else and are forced to accept anything they can get. One more wedge driven into the income disparity of America.

The fraud and misrepresentation comes from those who support the status quo.

But it all depends upon one's perspective, I guess.

According to some, the people who accept these jobs are fools and those who don't are leaches living on welfare.

Ah, well . . . . .

But we digress. Meanwhile, on Cape Hatteras, ice coats the beaches. Anyone for surfing?


According to some, the people who accept these jobs are fools and those who don't are leaches living on welfare.


Yep, and those that work to improve themselves are smart and get ahead. Handouts, not work, increase income disparity - as evidenced by the largest disparity we see today in conjuction with the largest level of entitlements ever.

I sense we're drifting away from the topic at hand. Perhaps another subject, such as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways draft GMP, is worthy of some comment since this topic seems fished out.