windwahine wrote:Only 2 days left, so please don't delay! Submit your comments today! Here's an example of a great one, although yours doesn't have to be as long or detailed:
Dear Superintendent Price,
I strongly urge and request the National Seashore to reconsider the park-wide 7 month ban on kitesurfing and allow our community some well regulated year-round access in designated areas. I think you will find that the majority of the members in our community are strong conservationists and willing to work with you to craft a reasonable but well regulated and enforced policy that represents a middle ground, protecting the birds where necessary and with evidence-based measures, but also allowing the access that was mandated by the original founding seashore legislation. We have a strong, well organized community and can get the word out about whatever reasonable compromise restrictions are put in place in critical habitats. We would also assist you in clearly posting the regulations at all access points so that all kiters can see and understand the regulations. I and many of my fellow kiters strongly feel that the regulations as written are extremely over-broad. We cannot possibly need all 40 miles of seashore to be shut down to this sport for 7 months of the year in order to put reasonable protections in place for the plovers and other threatened species.
One argument I've seen presented in support of the ban is that kiters can go to other areas such as Hyannis. While this might not be an easy thing for a non-kiter to understand, there really is a fundamental difference between the experience and practice of the sport in sheltered bays and sounds such as Hyannis versus on the open ocean in the surf. In the rare cases when the conditions are right, the Outer Cape ocean beaches present a completely unique combination of sailing and surfing which cannot be replicated anywhere else in the area. I know of a number of fellow kiters that live on Cape Cod largely because they so treasure the few days of the season where conditions (wind direction, swell, etc) are ideal to be practicing the sport on the ocean.
Much of the evidence for the disturbing of birds by kites seems to stem from either the old non-peer reviewed thesis study on hand-held kites from more than 20 years ago (before kitesurfing was invented), or anecdotal evidence collected by Seashore staff. Neither one seems solid enough to use as the basis for such a broad and long duration ban. On the contrary, based on reported numbers, plover communities in beaches like Revere with few regulations on kiting seem to be doing better than those where kiting is banned. We understand that this link is obviously not causational, but certainly it argues against the thesis conclusions and the anecdotal evidence of the harm it is supposedly causing. We all agree that species are worth preserving, and we understand that you are obligated to do what is reasonable to do so for the piping plover under Federal law. And I think you would find that if the Seashore presented strong, peer reviewed scientific evidence that birds were actually consequentially proven to be disturbed by kites in a way that really did affect their breeding success, that we kiters would be the first to want to avoid those areas and change our behavior to avoid having this effect. But as it is, the evidence just has not reasonably met this bar. In addition, there are many other factors, many of them outside of human control- - like storms and predation that have a real consequential impact.
We the kiting community really do want to work with the Seashore, but so far, we've found no willingness on your part to compromise or work with us towards a shared solution. We do not consider Duck Harbor and/or oceanside access for the very coldest winter months to be a compromise. I sincerely hope that this can change soon and that we are able to open a productive dialog towards real compromise.
That sounds very good, but I think your angle of approach is off. Not once did I ever hear of you mention how we help the community or how we protect the wildlife. If you could throw something in there like "although there is no evidence of us ever disturbing the bird nests, we firmly believe that protecting our wildlife should be the #1 priority, and I firmly believe we do not disturb any wildlife in any kind of way".
This would have been better, and also if you could say something about protecting people from drowning would have been an added bonus.
Telling these people how you are willing to give up seashore is like admiting guilt that we do disturb birds. Everyone that kites knows that birds aren't disturbed by someone playing in the water.
Anyway your paragraph sounds good, but still missing the point.