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Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cape Hatteras National Seashore--Off-Road Vehicle Management

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cape Hatteras National Seashore--Off-Road Vehicle Management

Michael Bean
Department of the Interior
21 December 2016

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 245 (Wednesday, December 21, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 93600-93606]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30735]



National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

RIN 1024-AE33

Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cape 
Hatteras National Seashore--Off-Road Vehicle Management

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) amends its special regulation 
for off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 
North Carolina, to revise the times that certain beaches open to ORV 
use in the morning, to extend the dates that certain seasonal ORV 
routes are open in the fall and spring, and to modify the size and 
location of certain vehicle-free areas. The NPS was required to 
consider these changes by section 3057 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. The NPS also amends this 
special regulation to allow the Superintendent to issue ORV permits for 
different lengths of time than are currently allowed, and to remove an 
ORV route designation on Ocracoke Island to allow vehicle access to a 
soundside area without the requirement of an ORV permit.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 20, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National 
Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, North Carolina 27954. Phone 



Description of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    Situated along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cape Hatteras 
National Seashore (Seashore or park) was authorized by Congress in 1937 
and established in 1953 as the nation's first national seashore. 
Consisting of more than thirty thousand acres distributed along 
approximately 67 miles of shoreline, the Seashore is part of a dynamic 
barrier island system.
    The Seashore contains important wildlife habitat created by dynamic 
environmental processes. Several species listed under the Endangered 
Species Act, including the piping plover, rufa subspecies of the red 
knot, and five species of sea turtles, are found within the park. The 
Seashore also serves as a popular recreation destination where users 
participate in a variety of activities.

Authority and Jurisdiction To Promulgate Regulations

    In the NPS Organic Act (54 U.S.C. 100101), Congress granted the NPS 
broad authority to regulate the use of areas under its jurisdiction. 
The Organic Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, acting 
through the NPS, to ``prescribe such regulations as the Secretary 
considers necessary or proper for the use and management of [National 
Park] System units.'' 54 U.S.C. 100751(a).

Off-Road Motor Vehicle Regulation

    Executive Order 11644, Use of Off-Road Vehicles on the Public 
Lands, was issued in 1972 in response to the widespread and rapidly 
increasing off-road driving on public lands ``often for legitimate 
purposes but also in frequent conflict with wise land and resource 
management practices, environmental values, and other types of 
recreational activity.'' Executive Order 11644 was amended by Executive 
Order 11989 in 1977, and together they are jointly referred to in this 
rule as the ``E.O.'' The E.O. requires Federal agencies that allow 
motorized vehicle use in off-road areas to designate specific areas and 
routes on public lands where the use of motorized vehicles may be 
permitted and to minimize user conflicts and resource impacts.
    The NPS regulation at 36 CFR 4.10(b) implements the E.O. and 
requires that routes and areas designated for ORV use be promulgated as 
special regulations and that the designation of routes and areas must 
comply with 36 CFR 1.5 and E.O. 11644. It also states that ORV routes 
and areas may be designated only in national recreation areas, national 
seashores, national lakeshores, and national preserves. This rule is 
consistent with these authorities and with Section (Motorized 
Off-road Vehicle Use) of NPS Management Policies 2006, available at: 

Recent ORV Management at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    In 2010, the NPS completed the Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement (ORV

[[Page 93601]]

FEIS) for ORV use at the Seashore to guide the management and use of 
ORVs at the Seashore. As a part of the selected alternative, certain 
elements of the ORV FEIS were implemented through rulemaking. The final 
rule for ORV management at the Seashore was published in the Federal 
Register on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3123) (2012 Final Rule).
    On December 19, 2014, the President signed the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (2014 Act). Section 3057 of the 
2014 Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to consider three 
specific changes to the 2012 Final Rule regarding:
     Morning opening times of beaches that are closed to ORV 
use at night;
     Extending the dates for seasonal ORV routes; and
     The size and location of vehicle-free areas (VFAs).
    On February 17, 2016, the NPS published the Consideration of 
Modifications to the Final Rule for Off-Road Vehicle Management 
Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA evaluated:
     The times that beach routes open to ORV use in the 
     Extending the dates that seasonal ORV routes are open in 
the fall and spring; and
     Modifying the size and location of VFAs.
    The EA also considered:
     Issuing ORV permits for different lengths of time;
     Revising some ORV route designations; and
     Providing access improvements for soundside locations on 
Ocracoke Island.
    The EA, which contains a full description of the purpose and need 
for taking action, scoping, the alternatives considered, maps and the 
environmental impacts associated with the project, may be viewed on the 
NPS planning Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea under 
the ``Document List'' link. Public comments on the EA were accepted 
until March 18, 2016. The EA resulted in a Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI) that was signed on December 19, 2016 and is available at 
http://parkplanningfxsp0;.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea under the ``Document 
List'' link.

Summary of Public Comments on the Proposed Rule

    The NPS published a proposed rule on August 22, 2016 (81 FR 56550). 
The NPS accepted comments through the mail, hand delivery, and the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were 
accepted through October 21, 2016. After considering the public 
comments and after additional review, the NPS did not make any changes 
to the proposed rule. A summary of comments and NPS responses is 
provided below.

Beach Opening Times

    1. Comment: Several commenters requested that all beaches or 
priority beaches at the Seashore be opened to ORV use at 6:00 a.m. or 
earlier when nighttime driving is restricted.
    NPS Response: The rule states that ORV use is not allowed on 
designated routes in sea turtle nesting habitat before 6:00 a.m. 
between May 1 and September 14, and between September 15 and November 
15 if sea turtles remain. This will ensure that there will be 
sufficient light for resource management staff to safely and properly 
complete their morning surveys for nesting activities. The actual 
opening times are not stated in the rule. They will be published by the 
NPS annually based on the civil twilight time at sunrise and sunset for 
each month that nighttime ORV restrictions are in place. Civil twilight 
is the period of time before sunrise and after sunset when the sun is 
less than 6 degrees below the horizon when there is enough visibility 
to conduct ordinary outdoor activities. From May through October these 
times range from 5:20 a.m. to 6:50 a.m. Allowing ORV access before 6:00 
a.m. for the months when nighttime driving is restricted would not 
provide resource management staff enough light to complete their 
morning beach surveys properly.
    2. Comment: One commenter was concerned that the rule does not 
identify criteria for setting the morning beach opening times and 
designating priority beaches that may open before 7:00 a.m. The 
commenter requested the NPS identify the priority beaches in the rule.
    NPS Response: The location and times of priority beach openings are 
intentionally omitted from the rule to provide NPS management with the 
flexibility to adapt to changes in visitation patterns and workload 
associated with the demonstrated variability of wildlife nesting on 
beaches. The priority beaches are identified in the FONSI and will also 
be included in the Superintendent's Compendium and published annually 
in the park's ORV Brochure. After reviewing each season's visitation 
patterns, Seashore conditions, and wildlife nesting activity, the NPS 
will publish information about opening times for priority beaches.
    3. Comment: Several commenters stated that having different opening 
times for different months and different beaches could confuse 
    NPS Response: The NPS understands this concern and intends to 
provide clear information and direction for all Seashore visitors. The 
NPS will clearly notify the public about opening times and locations by 
several methods. Priority beaches and opening times will be published 
at the beginning of each season in the Superintendent's Compendium, the 
ORV Brochure, and on the park Web site (www.nps.gov/caha). The Web site 
also provides a daily update on which ORV routes are open or closed due 
to wildlife nesting activities or Seashore conditions.

Dates for Use of Seasonal ORV Routes

    4. Comment: Several commenters suggested a variety of dates when 
seasonal ORV routes around the villages and Ocracoke Campground should 
be opened for ORV use. Commenters also requested expanded use periods 
for seasonal ORV routes that are not in front of villages or the 
Ocracoke Campground.
    NPS Response: Extending the seasonal ORV route periods for six 
weeks or more was considered and dismissed during the EA process due to 
the higher visitation rates and larger staff requirements that would be 
needed to manage active turtle and bird nests during those periods. 
Because of wildlife nesting activity in the spring and late summer, the 
NPS's emphasis on providing a diversity of visitor experiences, and the 
importance of managing the workload of NPS staff, the rule does not 
make any changes to the dates for seasonal ORV routes other than the 
routes in front of villages and the Ocracoke Campground.
    5. Comment: One commenter requested that the NPS open ORV routes on 
the Friday before spring break week if that date falls before the 
opening date identified in the rule.
    NPS Response: The NPS considered this request, but there is no 
standard school spring break vacation week and this period varies 
substantially throughout the country. Opening the Friday before spring 
break would increase management complexity and make it more difficult 
to notify the public about the opening dates for the ORV season.

Size and Location of Vehicle Free Areas (VFAs)

    6. Comment: Commenters suggested a wide variety of modifications to 
the VFAs. Some commenters recommended prohibiting beach driving or 
increasing the number and size of VFAs. Other commenters sought 
substantial reductions of VFA mileage. Many

[[Page 93602]]

commenters suggested changes to VFAs at specific ramps and routes 
throughout the Seashore, especially in and around the Cape Point area. 
One commenter requested that no changes to the existing VFAs be made, 
noting these are nesting areas where seasonal ORV use would introduce 
additional harassment of wildlife, disruption of habitat, and visitor 
    NPS Response: When considering the modifications to the VFAs, the 
NPS began with the existing VFAs as a baseline, considered each of the 
VFAs along the Seashore, and identified particular places where changes 
could be made while remaining consistent with management requirements 
at the Seashore. Although the rule does not establish any VFAs 
directly, the rule includes changes to designated ORV routes that 
result in corresponding changes to the size and location of VFAs at the 
Seashore. The rule changes certain ORV routes to allow greater access 
on each of the islands without substantially impacting the balance of 
visitor opportunities, the complexity of staff workload, public safety, 
or sensitive wildlife species. Protective wildlife buffers will be in 
place, regardless of route designation, to protect beach nesting 
species both within ORV routes and VFAs. The specific changes to VFAs 
resulting from the rule will not change the implementation and 
effectiveness of these buffers. The VFAs at the Seashore, as modified 
by the rule, continue to allow for large areas where pedestrians can 
utilize the beach without ORVs.
    7. Comment: One commenter requested Ramp 2--which the NPS proposed 
to open to ORV use in the proposed rule--be used only seasonally, or 
that the NPS designate the first \1/4\ mile of the ORV route (south of 
Ramp 2) as a pass through only zone with no ORV parking allowed. The 
commenter suggested that these changes to the proposed rule would avoid 
visitor conflicts.
    NPS Response: The realignment of Ramp 2 to the south, along with 
the construction of a pedestrian walkway (also accessible by people 
with disabilities) near the Coquina Beach bathhouse, should alleviate 
any potential safety issues associated with reopening Ramp 2 to ORV 
use. There are currently additional walking paths other than Ramp 2 
that provide pedestrian access to Coquina Beach that will alleviate 
visitor conflicts. The NPS will post signs that direct pedestrians to 
those locations to avoid user conflicts on the realigned ramp. 
Following the opening of a realigned Ramp 2, the NPS will evaluate any 
visitor use conflicts and may implement an appropriately-sized no 
stopping zone if necessary.

Permit Durations

    8. Comment: One commenter requested that the NPS specify the 
proposed changes to permit durations in the rule, rather than in the 
Superintendent's Compendium.
    NPS Response: Given the highly dynamic nature of the Seashore and 
tourism in the area, the NPS believes that it is prudent to provide 
management flexibility to NPS staff regarding the length of permits as 
circumstances change over time.

Other Access Improvements

    9. Comment: One commenter noted that redesignating Ramp 45 as a 
park road--a management action that was included in the EA--should have 
been stated in the proposed rule. The commenter raised concerns that 
designating an ORV route as a park road would set a precedent and could 
potential result in larger re-designations in the future.
    NPS Response: Old Ramp 45 is an existing park road currently closed 
to vehicle traffic. The road continues to be maintained with culverts 
and a hard packed pervious surface. Unlike the designation of a route 
for ORV use, NPS regulations do not require a special regulation to 
reopen a park road to motor vehicle use. Reopening this road for 
vehicular use will not affect any other route or road within the 

The Final Rule

    This rule implements the selected action in the FONSI and amends 
the special regulation for ORV use at the Seashore as it relates to:
     The morning opening times of beaches that are closed to 
ORV use at night;
     The dates that some seasonal ORV routes are open in the 
fall and spring;
     The size and location of VFAs;
     The duration of ORV permits; and
     Other access improvements.

Beach Opening Times

    The rule states that ORV use is not allowed on designated routes in 
sea turtle nesting habitat (ocean intertidal zone, ocean backshore, 
dunes) before 6:00 a.m. between May 1 and September 14, and between 
September 15 and November 15 if sea turtles remain. Instead of 
establishing opening times for each ORV route in the rule, the NPS will 
publish the opening times for each route on an annual basis in the 
Superintendent's Compendium and on the park Web site (www.nps.gov/caha). This will give the Superintendent the flexibility to adjust 
opening times each year based on changing conditions at the Seashore 
and the ability of park staff to patrol and complete resource 
management inventories on beaches before they are opened to vehicle 
use. The NPS expects that most ORV routes will continue to open at 7:00 
a.m. The NPS may open certain ``priority'' beach routes to ORV use 
before 7:00 a.m., but no earlier than 6:00 a.m. This will allow ORV 
users to access the more popular beaches earlier in the morning. NPS 
resource staff will patrol these ``priority'' beaches before opening so 
that park resources are protected even though earlier access will be 

Dates for Use of Seasonal ORV Routes

    The rule extends the dates for ORV use of seasonal designated 
routes in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, 
Frisco, and Hatteras and the Ocracoke Campground. These routes will 
open two weeks earlier in the fall and close two weeks later in the 
spring, making these seasonal routes open to ORV use from October 15 
through April 14. These seasonal extensions are in areas and at times 
of the year which will not result in measurable impacts to sensitive 
wildlife, visitor experience, safety, or workload complexity for park 

Size and Location of VFAs

    The changes in the rule to designated ORV routes will modify the 
size and location of VFAs and improve ORV access in some locations. 
This rule makes the following changes to the designated ORV routes at 
the Seashore. Ramps 2.5 and 59.5 will not be constructed and are 
therefore removed from the chart of designated ORV routes. Ramp 2 will 
be restored to ORV use, extending the existing ORV route approximately 
0.5 miles to the north and providing ORV access to the route from 
either ramp 4 or ramp 2. Ramp 59 will continue to be open to ORV use, 
extending the existing year-round ORV route approximately 0.5 miles. 
The seasonal ORV route at ramp 34 will be extended approximately 1 mile 
to the north and the seasonal ORV route at ramp 23 will be extended 
approximately 1.5 miles to the south. These changes will slightly 
increase ORV access on each of the islands without measurably impacting 
visitor experience, safety, sensitive wildlife species, or the workload 
complexity for NPS staff.

Permit Durations

    The existing regulations for the Seashore state that annual permits 
are valid for the calendar year for which they are issued, and that 

[[Page 93603]]

permits are valid from the date of issue. This rule removes this 
provision and instead states that ORV permits are valid for the dates 
specified in the permit. The Superintendent will publish the standard 
duration of permits in the Compendium and on the park's Web site 
(www.nps.gov/caha). The standard duration of permits may be changed 
from time to time based upon circumstances at the Seashore and 
visitation patterns. To start, however, ORV permits will be valid for 
one year from the date of issuance instead of being valid for the 
calendar year of issuance, and the existing 7-day ORV permit will be 
replaced by a 10-day ORV permit. The 10-day ORV permit will allow many 
ORV users to access the beaches over two weekends, depending upon when 
they arrive at the Seashore.
    The NPS intends to continue to recover the costs of administering 
the ORV permit program under 54 U.S.C. 103104.

Access Improvements--Ocracoke Island

    The NPS is removing the existing ORV route designation along Devil 
Shoals Road (also referred to as Dump Station Road). An ORV permit will 
no longer be required to travel this road because motor vehicles are 
allowed on park roads without a permit under general NPS regulations. 
This route is therefore removed as a designated ORV route in the rule. 
Devil Shoals Road is an existing dirt road located across North 
Carolina State Highway 12 from the Ocracoke Campground that has been 
maintained as part of the park's road network. This road meets NPS road 
design standards as a Class II connector road than can provide normal 
passenger vehicle access to park areas of scenic and recreational 
interest on a dirt/gravel surface. This change allows for limited 
vehicular soundside access on Ocracoke Island without the requirement 
to purchase an ORV permit.

Access Improvements--Hatteras Island

    This rule extends the existing Cape Point bypass route south of 
ramp 44 by approximately 0.4 miles to the north so that it joins with 
ramp 44. This rule also extends the existing bypass route by 
approximately 600 feet to the south to provide additional ORV access 
near Cape Point when the ORV route along the beach is closed for safety 
or resource protection.

Other Updates

    This rule makes several changes to the language in the existing ORV 
regulation to clarify and more accurately reflect existing conditions. 
Ramp 25.5 is renamed ``ramp 25''; ramp 32.5 is renamed ``ramp 32''; 
ramp 47.5 is renamed ``ramp 48''; the description of the soundside ORV 
route at Little Kinnakeet is changed to reflect that it begins just 
west of the Kinnakeet lifesaving structures; and additional details are 
added to further clarify where existing routes terminate (e.g. the 
routes adjacent to ramps 32, 48, and 63 do not end exactly at the 
ramp). These clarifying changes do not increase or decrease ORV access 
at the Seashore.


    The changes to routes and ramps made as a result of this rule are 
available at http://parkplanningfxsp0;.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy

Use of Off-Road Vehicles on the Public Lands (Executive Order 11644)

    As discussed previously, the E.O. applies to ORV use on federal 
public lands that is not authorized under a valid lease, permit, 
contract, or license. Section 3(4) of E.O. 11644 provides that ORV 
``areas and trails shall be located in areas of the National Park 
system, Natural Areas, or National Wildlife Refuges and Game Ranges 
only if the respective agency head determines that off-road vehicle use 
in such locations will not adversely affect their natural, aesthetic, 
or scenic values.'' Since the E.O. clearly was not intended to prohibit 
all ORV use everywhere in these units, the term ``adversely affect'' 
does not have the same meaning as the somewhat similar terms ``adverse 
impact'' or ``adverse effect'' commonly used in the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Under NEPA, a procedural 
statute that provides for the study of environmental impacts, the term 
``adverse effect'' refers to any effect, no matter how minor or 
    Section 3(4) of the E.O., by contrast, does not prescribe 
procedures or any particular means of analysis. It concerns substantive 
management decisions, and must instead be read in the context of the 
authorities applicable to such decisions. The Seashore is an area of 
the National Park System. Therefore, the NPS interprets the E.O. term 
``adversely affect'' consistent with its NPS Management Policies 2006. 
These policies require the NPS to allow only ``appropriate uses'' of 
parks and to avoid ``unacceptable impacts'' to park resources or 
values. The NPS has evaluated this rule and confirmed that it complies 
with these policies.
    Specifically, this rule will not impede the attainment of the 
Seashore's desired future conditions for natural and cultural resources 
as identified in the ORV FEIS. The NPS has determined this rule will 
not unreasonably interfere with the atmosphere of peace and 
tranquility, or the natural soundscape maintained in natural locations 
within the Seashore. Therefore, within the context of the E.O., ORV use 
on the ORV routes amended by this rule (which are also subject to 
safety and resource closures and other species management measures that 
will be implemented under this rule) will not adversely affect the 
natural, aesthetic, or scenic values of the Seashore.
    Section 8(a) of the E.O. requires NPS to monitor the effects of the 
use of off-road vehicles on lands under its jurisdiction. On the basis 
of the information gathered, NPS shall from time to time amend or 
rescind designations of areas or other actions taken pursuant to the 
E.O. as necessary to further the policy of the E.O. The existing ORV 
FEIS and Record of Decision identify monitoring and resource protection 
procedures, and desired future conditions to provide for the ongoing 
and future evaluation of impacts of ORV use on protected resources. The 
Superintendent has the authority under this rule and under 36 CFR 1.5 
to close portions of the Seashore as needed to protect park resources 
and values, and public health and safety.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will 
review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
It directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce 
burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public 
where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with 
regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations 
must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking 
process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of 
ideas. We have developed

[[Page 93604]]

this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). This certification is based on information contained in a report 
entitled, ``Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Special 
Regulations of Off-Road Motor Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National 
Seashore'', available for public review at: http://
parkplanningfxsp0;.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea. According to that report, no 
entities, small or large, are directly regulated by this rule, which 
regulates visitors' use of ORVs. The courts have held that the RFA 
requires an agency to perform a regulatory flexibility analysis of 
small entity impacts only when a rule directly regulates them. 
Therefore, agencies must assess the impacts on directly regulated 
entities, but are not required to analyze in a regulatory flexibility 
analysis the indirect effects from rules on small entities.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the SBREFA. 
This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, 
local, or tribal governments or the private sector. The designated ORV 
routes are located entirely within the Seashore, and will not result in 
direct expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments. This rule 
addresses public use of NPS lands, and imposes no requirements on other 
agencies or governments. Therefore, a statement containing the 
information required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not 

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630. Access to private 
property located within or adjacent to the Seashore will not be 
affected, and this rule does not regulate uses of private property. 
Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. This rule only 
affects use of NPS-administered lands and imposes no requirements on 
other agencies or governments. A federalism summary impact statement is 
not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 

Consultation With Indian tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the 
Department's tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal 
consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial 
direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collection of information that 
requires approval by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
PRA of 1995. OMB has approved the information collection requirements 
associated with NPS Special Park Use Permits and has assigned OMB 
Control Number 1024-0026 (expires 12/31/2016 and in accordance with 5 
CFR 1320.10, the agency may continue to conduct or sponsor this 
collection of information while the submission is pending at OMB). We 
estimate the annual burden associated with this information collection 
to be 8,500 hours per year. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a 
person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless 
it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement 
under NEPA is not required because the NPS issued a FONSI. The EA and 
FONSI are available at http://parkplanningfxsp0;.nps.gov/caha-orv-ea 
under the ``Document List'' link. These documents contain a full 
description of the alternatives that were considered, the environmental 
impacts associated with the project, public involvement, and other 
supporting documentation. The NPS considered public comments made on 
the EA in drafting this rule. The NPS has evaluated substantive 
comments received on the proposed rule to develop the final rule.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211).

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not 

Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this regulation were Russel J. Wilson, Chief 
Regulations, Jurisdiction and Special Park Uses, National Park Service; 
and Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, National Park Service.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    District of Columbia, National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping 

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service amends 
36 CFR part 7 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also 
issued under DC Code 10-137 and DC Code 50-2201.07.

2. Amend Sec.  7.58 by revising paragraphs (c)(2)(iv) and (c)(9), the 
paragraph (c)(12) subject heading, and paragraph (c)(12)(i) to read as 

[[Page 93605]]

Sec.  7.58   Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *.
    (2) * * *
    (iv) ORV permits are valid for the dates specified on the permit. 
The public will be notified of any changes to ORV permit durations 
through one or more of the methods listed in Sec.  1.7(a) of this 
* * * * *
    (9) ORV routes. The following tables indicate designated ORV 
routes. The following ramps are designated for off-road use to provide 
access to ocean beaches: 2, 4, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 38, 43, 44, 48, 
49, 55, 59, 63, 67, 68, 70, and 72. Designated ORV routes and ramps are 
subject to resource, safety, seasonal, and other closures implemented 
under Sec.  7.58(c)(10). Soundside ORV access ramps are described in 
the table below. For a village beach to be open to ORV use during the 
winter season, it must be at least 20 meters (66 feet) wide from the 
toe of the dune seaward to mean high tide line. Maps showing designated 
routes and ramps are available in the Office of the Superintendent and 
on the Seashore Web site.

      When is the route open?            Where is the route located?
                     Bodie Island--Designated Routes
Year Round........................  Ramp 2 to 0.2 miles south of ramp 4.
September 15-March 14.............  0.2 miles south of ramp 4 to the
                                     eastern confluence of the Atlantic
                                     Ocean and Oregon Inlet.
                   Hatteras Island--Designated Routes
Year Round........................  1.5 miles south of ramp 23 to ramp
                                    Ramp 30 to approximately 0.3 miles
                                     south of ramp 32
                                    The following soundside ORV access
                                     routes from NC Highway 12 to
                                     Pamlico Sound between the villages
                                     of Salvo and Avon: soundside ramps
                                     46, 48, 52, 53, 54. The soundside
                                     ORV access at Little Kinnakeet
                                     starts just to the west of the
                                     Kinnakeet lifesaving structures and
                                     continues to the sound.
                                    Ramp 38 to 1.5 miles south of ramp
                                    The following soundside ORV access
                                     routes from NC Highway 12 to
                                     Pamlico Sound between the villages
                                     of Avon and Buxton: soundside ramps
                                     57, 58, 59, and 60.
                                    0.4 miles north of ramp 43 to Cape
                                     Point to 0.3 miles west of ``the
                                    Bypass which extends due south from
                                     the opening at ramp 44, running
                                     continuously behind the dunes until
                                     the bypass connects with the beach.
                                    Interdunal route (``Inside Road'')
                                     from intersection with Lighthouse
                                     Road (i.e. ramp 44) to ramp 49,
                                     with one spur route from the
                                     interdunal route to ramp 48.
                                    Just east of Ramp 48 to east Frisco
                                    A soundside ORV access route from
                                     Museum Drive to Pamlico Sound near
                                     Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet
                                    Pole Road from Museum Drive to Spur
                                     Road to Pamlico Sound, with one
                                     spur route, commonly known as Cable
                                     Crossing, to Pamlico Sound and four
                                     spur routes to the ORV route below.
                                    Ramp 55 southwest along the ocean
                                     beach for 1.6 miles, ending at the
                                     intersection with the route
                                     commonly known as Bone Road.
October 15-April 14...............  0.1 mile south of Rodanthe Pier to
                                     1.5 mile south of ramp 23
                                    1.0 mile north of ramp 34 to ramp 38
                                    East Frisco boundary to west Frisco
                                     boundary (Frisco village beach)
                                    East Hatteras boundary to ramp 55
                                     (Hatteras village beach)
                   Ocracoke Island--Designated Routes
Year Round........................  Ramp 59 to just southwest of ramp
                                    Routes from NC Highway 12 to Pamlico
                                     Sound located north of the Pony
                                     Pens, commonly known as Prong Road,
                                     Barrow Pit Road, and Scrag Cedar
                                    1.0 mile northeast of ramp 67 to 0.5
                                     mile northeast of ramp 68
                                    0.4 miles northeast of ramp 70 to
                                     Ocracoke inlet.
                                    From ramp 72 to a pedestrian trail
                                     to Pamlico Sound, commonly known as
                                     Shirley's Lane.
October 15-April 14...............  0.5 mile northeast of ramp 68 to
                                     ramp 68 (Ocracoke Campground area).
September 15-March 14.............  A route 0.6 mile south of ramp 72
                                     from the beach route to a
                                     pedestrian trail to Pamlico Sound.
                                    A route at the north end of South
                                     Point spit from the beach route to
                                     Pamlico Sound.

* * * * *
    (12) Hours of Operation/Night-Driving Restrictions. (i) Hours of 
operation and night-driving restrictions are listed in the following 

              Hours of Operation/Night Driving Restrictions
   When are the restrictions in
              place?                Where are the restrictions in place?
November 16-April 30..............  All designated ORV routes are open
                                     24 hours a day.
May 1-September 14................  Designated ORV routes in sea turtle
                                     nesting habitat (ocean intertidal
                                     zone, ocean backshore, dunes) are
                                     closed at 9:00 p.m. and open no
                                     earlier than 6:00 a.m. The Seashore
                                     will publish exact opening times on
                                     an annual basis.

[[Page 93606]]

September 15-November 15..........  Designated ORV routes in sea turtle
                                     nesting habitat (ocean intertidal
                                     zone, ocean backshore, dunes) are
                                     closed at 9:00 p.m. and open no
                                     earlier than 6:00 a.m., but the
                                     Superintendent may open designated
                                     ORV routes, or portions of the
                                     routes, 24 hours a day if no turtle
                                     nests remain. The Seashore will
                                     publish exact opening times on an
                                     annual basis.

* * * * *

Michael Bean,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2016-30735 Filed 12-20-16; 8:45 am]

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