It was a sad sight to see as the last of Cape Hatteras' National Park Service personnel were carried out by truck as a Federal judge expanded the closure areas around piping plover nests. Under a bizarre clause in the judge's order regulating human and vehicular traffic on the island during nesting season, any act of vandalism committed against an enclosed wildlife area is met with ever-expanding restricted corridors, unless the culprits are apprehended. Thus far, numerous acts of vandalism have occurred with no arrests. Environmentalists accuse radicalized ORV drivers, while ORV drivers accuse environmentalists of committing the crimes in order to expand the restricted areas and create a negative opinion of ORV advocates.
As one can see from the map, the corridor has now expanded to such an extent that not only has the entire Cape Hatteras park at "the Point" been placed off limits to visitors and employees alike, the ban has now been extended over the entire island, Ocracoke Island and a sizable portion of the ocean and sound.
Mayor Bob Oakes, noting the ban already borders Nags Head along the Oregon Inlet portion of the park, advised south Nags Head's residents and visitors to be ready to vacate the area if one more act of vandalism is recorded.
The question still remains--exactly who is responsible for all this vandalism? After many nights of reconnaissance, the OBJ staff uncovered this photo of the culprit, just before he and other accomplices pulled up a fence and destroyed signs.
For those who doubt the plover's ability to conduct such activity, it should be noted that the NPS has secreted videos of local piping plovers in the company of the following avian allies...a cunning group of birds known to be able to pull off the most incredible stunts through the use of MacGyver-like tactics and the copious use of hurling.
One plover we interviewed stated they weren't so much interested in ridding the region of humans for mating success as they were in flipping the newly acquired territory to other species. While refusing to confirm or deny, a group of Oyster Catchers and Terns soon-to-be evicted from Audubon land in Virginia are rumored to among the potential buyers for the valuable oceanfront real estate.