Park Service sets beach driving permit prices

By on February 1, 2012

A plan designates areas for beach driving. (NPS)

Beach driving at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore will cost $50 for a seven-day permit and a $120 for a year.

The fees were announced Wednesday as the National Park Service prepares to put rules for access into effect Feb. 15.

Originally mandated by a presidential directive in the 1970s, management of access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore went through a years-long process before the final rule for off-road vehicle use was published on Jan. 23.

The rule restricts driving to designated areas to protect shorebirds and vegetation. Off-road drivers will also be required to watch a seven-minute instructional video.

Permits will be available beginning on Feb. 15 at three NPS ORV permit offices — Coquina Beach just south of Nags Head, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center in Buxton Ocracoke Visitor Center.

The offices will be open year-round, seven days a week, except on Christmas Day, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with expanded hours on weekends and holidays during the summer.

An annual permit is valid for the calendar year and the seven-day permit is valid from the date issued.

“In order to provide the public with ample time to obtain a permit, there
will be a transition period between February 15 and March 15 before the
rule is fully implemented and enforced,” the park service said in a statement.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.nps.gov/caha.

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