An open letter to Congressman Walter B. Jones:

There is something terribly wrong in our country today, and there is no place where it is more evident than what is happening in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The inhabitants of this tiny island that consists of seven villages, are under siege by the allowances of repressive government no less than the framers of the Constitution were, who out of desperation fled from their homeland where generations of "their" families had lived. We the people of the United States are supposed to be living under the rule of law created by our founding documents, guaranteeing our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those fundamental rights are systematically being stripped away from us and one would wonder if there is any solution.

The simplicity of the early days of the Audubon Society, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other similar wildlife groups who saw the necessity of protecting and preserving our precious natural resources, and rightfully so, has evolved into a very radical and deliberate paradigm shift towards a sense of absolute control over the public by these agencies and special interest groups.  But the most unbelievable aspect about what is happening is how all of these groups somehow trump the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  They have become the puppeteers of our society and their influence affects every aspect of our daily lives, from commerce, to tourism, to recreation.

Generations of families have made their living on our beaches and the waters of the Pamlico Sound, but today many have had to leave the prosperity of the fishing and crabbing industry because of restrictions and regulations that have been imposed upon them by the Marine Fisheries since 1976.  For the ones who struggle to carry on the generational tradition, it becomes more and more difficult, and less and less lucrative every year.

There are hundreds of square miles of water that make up the Pamlico Sound, but it is almost impossible to keep a sufficient ferry channel open between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke because of all the environmental hype and seasonal regulations restricting pipeline dredging, out of fear of disturbing some eel grass, a fish, or a bird.  The channel that connects the two islands serves not only as the lifeline, but is also the evacuation route for the residents of Ocracoke Island during hurricane season.  Within the past couple of years a million and a half dollars have been spent trying to quick fix the problem utilizing the Army Corps of Engineers sidecaster dredge.  The results of that in Hatteras Inlet can best be summed up in a quote by Albert Einstein. "To keep doing the same failed thing over and over again, expecting a different result, is insanity."

To say that we are being systematically stripped of our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is not exaggeration or melodrama.  The Department of the Interior took eighty five per cent of our island from our grandparents and great grandparents when they turned it into a "national seashore."  Agreements and promises that were made to local islanders back then, that life would continue on just as it always had, were excepted by the people, and were honored by the DOI for decades, and we shared our beautiful island and beaches with people from all over the country and around the world.  But today those promises and agreements are as uncertain as the wind, and the National Park Service is once more taking our land from us by denying access to many areas of our beaches, and charging outrageous amounts of money for permits to access other areas.

They have destroyed the beauty of our beaches and the shoreline on the Pamlico side of the island with their thousands of signs and sticks and ribboned strings.  Local merchants and businesses have suffered tremendous financial loss as a result of the things that are being imposed upon them.  Conservation and preservation have become perverted and lost in the money game created by special interest groups keeping our courts tied up with lawsuits involving any and every absurd thing imaginable, and are probably one of the main contributors to slow job growth and loss of jobs.

The NPS has tried to establish as factual that the Piping Plover is indigenous to Hatteras Island, and because of their small numbers, are somehow subject to extinction, neither of which is true.  Piping Plovers thrive where they "are" indigenous.  The NPS has used this rhetoric to strengthen their agenda of closing down access to our public beaches by creating a make believe crisis to the ecosystem.  The only crisis to the ecosystem on Hatteras Island is being perpetrated by the NPS, not the residents or visiting public.  Within just a two year period (2010,2011) the NPS set 19,025 traps, resulting in 857 species trapped, 102 of which were cats.  Among other species that were trapped and killed were raccoons, opossums, minks, nutria, coyotes, red fox, and gray fox.....all for a bird that is not indigenous to the island. 

It is tragic that this is permitted in modern society. If the Park Service wants to increase the population of the Piping Plover, wisdom would dictate, and the humane solution to the problem would be to trap the Piping Plover and raise them and release them back into the wild, "not" kill hundreds and hundreds of our precious wildlife animals. This island "still" belongs to "we the people"!  Portsmouth Island used to be the hub among this little chain of islands known as the Outer Banks.  Today it is a bird sanctuary for the NPS. That will never to happen to us!

The following is from a 1998 copyrighted Bantam book entitled, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States:

On June 8, 1789, Madison moved in the first federal Congress that "a declaration" be "prefixed to the constitution."  That "prefix" which seems to have constituted what Madison called a "bill of rights," would say.....That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from the people.  That Government is instituted, and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.  That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of the institution.

The residents of Hatteras Island request that action be taken to address the Department of the Interior, and to establish some degree of control over the NPS, the Marine Fisheries, and the myriad of special interest groups that are destroying our way of life here in North Carolina.

Malcolm W. Peele