National Parks

'Sunny Side Up' A picture of  a lifeguard chair
Creative Commons

The National Parks Service is trying to keep at least a few lifeguards on the Cape Hatteras Seashore this summer.

Federal officials cut the $200,000 program that staffed three beaches seven days a week during the summer.

Now, Outer Banks Group Superintendent Barclay Trimble said he wants lifeguard service contractors to offer bids that can accommodate a tighter budget.

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

The Mountains-to-Sea-Trail is getting a new coastal plains route that will take it away from the Neuse River.  The new path tracks through an area of geological significance called the Cape Fear Arch.

It'll also add about 150 miles to the length of the trail.   Kate Dixon is executive director of the citizens group Friends of the Mountains to-Sea-Trail.  She says the hikers will see what is considered one of the most important natural areas in the whole northern hemisphere...

NOAA

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing changes to dredging rules in and around Beaufort Inlet on the Outer Banks. 

Right now, sand dredged to keep the inlet open is dumped on the shoreline of the town of Atlantic Beach and at Fort Macon State Park. 

Trace Cooper is the mayor of Atlantic Beach.  He says his town needs the sand to protect six-billion-dollars worth of investment.

Bodie Island Lighthouse
National Park Service

For the first time ever, the Bodie Island Lighthouse will be open for public tours.  The structure was built in 1872 and has been closed for a $5 million renovation for the past four years. Years of exposure to harsh weather had brought on structural and safety problems. Restoration work included repairs to the spiral stairs, brickwork and the lens that still serves as a navigational guide for ships.

Most of the managed wilderness in America is not national park but national forest. In North Carolina for instance, we have 4 of them, the Pisgah, Croatan, Uwharrie and the Nantahala, and together they are the size of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, more than a million acres.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is finally getting a management plan. The long-delayed outline for the next twenty years goes to a series of public hearings starting later today. Phil Francis is the park's Superintendent. He says much of the land that forms the backdrop for many of the views along the parkway's 469 miles is privately owned.

The National Park Service is accepting public comment about rules governing off-road vehicles on the Outer Banks. North Carolina environmental groups filed a lawsuit in 2007 that said regulators did not have proper rules in place to protect wildlife from vehicles that might disturb sea turtle nests and other natural habitats. At the same time, some North Carolina lawmakers lobbied for beach access to support local businesses. Mike Murray is the superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.