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Cape Cod National Seashore; Off-Road Vehicle Use

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Cape Cod National Seashore; Off-Road Vehicle Use

Donald J. Barry
Department of the Interior
February 24, 1998

[Federal Register: February 24, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 36)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 9143-9149]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

RIN 1024-AC47

Cape Cod National Seashore; Off-Road Vehicle Use

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is revising the current 
regulation for off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Cape Cod National 
Seashore. Since the current plan (1981 ORV Management Plan, as amended 
in 1985) went into effect, new and unrelated measures have impacted the 
off-road vehicle corridor identified in the amended plan. These 
measures have resulted from the necessity to protect the federally 
listed threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus). Because of a lack 
of flexibility in the Amended 1985 Plan, there has been an inability to 
adapt it to changing natural resource concerns.
    The piping plover became a federally listed threatened species in 
1986. In 1995 there were 83 pair of plovers nesting on the beaches of 
Cape Cod National Seashore. Thirty-three pair were within the eight and 
one-half miles of the ORV corridor. During the Fourth of July weekend 
(a period of peak use for ORV's) in 1994, eight-tenths of a mile of the 
ORV corridor was open. In 1995, only six-tenths of a mile was open. 
Because of the sand dune configuration on portions of the outer beach, 
it is expected that the birds will continue to nest here. Thus, Cape 
Cod National Seashore hopes to develop a more flexible and effective 
regulation governing ORV use that will accommodate the NPS's 
responsibilities for managing natural resources.

DATE: This rule becomes effective on March 26, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maria Burks, Superintendent, Cape Cod 
National Seashore, 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667. Telephone 
508-349-3785, ext. 203.



    The mission of the NPS is to preserve and protect park resources 
while at the same time allowing for the enjoyment of these same 
resources in a manner that will leave them unimpaired for future 
generations. In September 1995, Cape Cod National Seashore convened a 
committee to negotiate a rulemaking (per the Federal Advisory 
Commission Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. II Sec. 9(c), and the Negotiated 
Rulemaking Act, 5 U.S.C. 561), to resolve an ongoing contentious issue 
of ORV use on Seashore beaches, while at the same time providing 
optimum protection for the piping plover (Charadrius melodus) in 
compliance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and 
other Seashore resources.
    The 1981 ORV Management Plan was challenged in U.S. District Court. 
However, the plan, as amended in 1985 (50 FR 31181), was upheld by the 
District Court in 1988 and the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1989. The 
District Court found that ORV use at Cape Cod National Seashore is not 
inappropriate; that the 1985 Plan minimized user conflicts; that the 
NPS had provided other recreational users adequate use of the Seashore; 
that the NPS had properly surveyed the sentiments of Seashore users; 
and that ORV use, as managed by the NPS, does not adversely affect the 
Seashore's values or its ecology.
    The 1985 regulation that established an 8.5 mile ORV corridor on 
the 40 miles of outer beach within the Seashore would have provided a 
satisfactory solution except that since

[[Page 9144]]

1988, the number of nesting pair of piping plover increased in this 
area over 800 percent. The ORV corridor is one of the prime nesting 
areas in the Seashore (in 1995, 33 of 87 pair nested in the corridor). 
Primarily because of plovers in the corridor, the Seashore staff 
monitors every bird, nest and egg daily to determine if the ORV 
corridor should be open or closed. Symbolic fencing is put up as soon 
as a nest is established to identify the site. Wire enclosures are put 
up once the eggs have been laid and the ORV corridor is closed from the 
time the birds hatch until they fledge, approximately 28 days later. In 
the past few years, during the time when the Seashore receives the most 
visitors (Fourth of July), including people wishing to use the ORV 
corridor, only 0.4 to 0.6 miles of the corridor has been open.

Decision To Initiate Negotiated Rulemaking

    The need for a new rule and the use of the negotiated process was 
motivated by a number of events including legislative requirements, 
past litigation, management issues and inflexibility of the existing 
rule to deal with changing conditions such as the use of the corridor 
by the piping plover. The negotiated rulemaking process was an attempt 
to manage off-road vehicle (ORV) access on the outer beach in a way 
that accommodates the wishes of ORV enthusiasts and those choosing 
other forms of beach use, while minimizing impacts to natural and 
cultural resources and providing a degree of flexibility for managing 
the beach.
    Since the current plan (1981 ORV Management Plan, as amended in 
1985) went into effect, issues which had not been anticipated or 
addressed previously impacted the off-road vehicle corridor. These 
impacts were mainly in response to the importance of and the efforts to 
protect the piping plover. Thus, Cape Cod National Seashore hopes the 
new regulation will be more flexible and effective in governing ORV 
use, and will accommodate the NPS's responsibilities for managing 
natural resources and the recreational opportunities mandated in the 
Seashore's enabling legislation.
    The objective of negotiated rulemaking was to front load the 
controversy by getting all the interested parties involved in the 
decision making process from the beginning and acknowledging, if not 
resolving, all the issues and concerns. The process brings together at 
the negotiating table the organizations that are interested in the 
issues and charges them with developing a solution that is acceptable 
to everyone. This process is used by many Federal agencies, but this 
was the first time the NPS used negotiated rulemaking to develop a rule 
that will become part of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    A total of 23 agencies, organizations and interest groups with long 
term interests and involvement in the ORV issue were identified for the 
committee. They included State agencies, the 6 towns the Seashore is 
located within, ORV user groups, environmental groups, Federal 
agencies, and tourism and preservation groups.
    Specifically, the Committee consisted of members from the following 

1. Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod
2. Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
3. Cape Cod Commission
4. Cape Cod Salties
5. Citizens Concerned for Seacoast Management
6. Conservation Law Foundation
7. Eastham Forum
8. Highland Fish and Game Club
9. Massachusetts Audubon Society
10. Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association
11. Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management
12. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
13. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
14. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
15. National Park Service
16. Sierra Club
17. Town of Chatham
18. Town of Eastham
19. Town of Orleans
20. Town of Provincetown
21. Town of Truro
22. Town of Wellfleet
23. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    Each organization selected one representative to sit at the table. 
This person spoke and made commitments for that organization. Only 
representatives were allowed to participate in the formal discussions. 
All participants at the table had an equal voice. To avoid problems 
with unbalanced votes on one ``side,'' the negotiated rulemaking was 
done as a consensus process (every organization had veto authority). 
The task assigned the committee was to develop a new ORV regulation for 
Cape Cod National Seashore. If the committee was unable to reach 
consensus on a new regulation, then the NPS would develop a new rule 
using the ideas, information and creativity that had been gathered from 
the group. This process allowed every issue, idea and concern to be 
heard; all sides had a chance to hear what was most important and what 
most worried the other participants. The NPS agreed that if consensus 
was reached, the consensus regulation would be put forward as a 
proposed rule through the notice and comment rulemaking process with 
full public involvement. The proposed rule was published in the Federal 
Register on May 6, 1997 (FR 62 24624).
    As required by FACA, all formal meetings were announced in the 
Federal Register and were open to the public. There was a public 
comment period at the end of each meeting. Letters could be submitted 
to be included in the official record if someone was unable to attend.
    The rulemaking sessions were conducted by contracted professional 
negotiators. The sessions were limited to three, two-day meetings. 
These meetings were spaced one month apart to allow the representatives 
sufficient time between meetings to report back to their respective 
organizations and to ensure that they were not committing to things the 
organizations could not support and, very importantly, to allow time 
for independent interactions and negotiations among committee members 
to occur.
    The committee was successful in reaching consensus on a proposed 
ORV regulation for Cape Cod National Seashore. It is the contents of 
that regulation that have been used to identify issues, alternatives 
and potential impacts for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 

Issues of Concern Raised During the Negotiated Rulemaking

    During the course of negotiations, many ideas and issues were 
discussed, clarified and agreed to by the negotiating committee. The 
committee reached consensus on the following items and agreed that, 
although not appropriate for inclusion in the text of the regulation, 
these items were important points, ideas and agreements that should be 
included in the preamble where they would be part of the official 
record and identified as part of the committee consensus.
    Executive Order 11644, as amended by E.O. 11989, ``Use of Off-Road 
Vehicles on Public Lands'' directs the NPS to monitor the impacts of 
the ORV program on the resources of Cape Cod National Seashore. The 
committee supported this monitoring to identify the actual effects (or 
lack of effects) of ORV use at the Seashore. The intent of

[[Page 9145]]

this research is not to develop ``new'' science on the effects of ORV 
use on the outer beaches, but to document specifically the current 
condition of the ORV corridor and to monitor the changes, if any, that 
occur over time. This data will be used to assess any changes that 
occur in the area where the ORV corridor is located and to try to 
identify the causes of these changes. The monitoring methods identified 
for use by the NPS will undergo peer review by the broader scientific 
community to identify weaknesses, including areas of monitoring not 
covered by the technical research design. In this context, ``peer'' 
includes scientists beyond the NPS scientific community. The monitoring 
will result in an annual report that NPS will also distribute for 
public and peer review and comment. While user fees gathered from ORV 
permits can be used to fund this research, this funding is limited.
    The committee recognized the importance and relative fragility of 
barrier spits, such as the sand spit at Hatches Harbor. The NPS agrees 
to work in consultation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone 
Management to address concerns specific to barrier spits. It is 
understood that these areas are more sensitive; that they are important 
to shorebirds and for protecting the natural resources located behind 
them; and that a closer look at these sensitive areas may result in a 
need to limit use or further control existing uses to protect 
    The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission will be 
requested to develop a new subcommittee to provide input and advice on 
the ORV program at Cape Cod National Seashore. The chair of the 
subcommittee will be a duly appointed member of the Commission. Other 
members of the subcommittee will represent the same general mix of 
interests represented in the negotiated rulemaking committee. This 
subcommittee will be assigned to review and analyze the annual 
monitoring report. Following its review and analysis, the subcommittee 
may refer any ORV program management issues it identifies to the 
commission for further deliberation, and the Commission may advise the 
Superintendent with respect to those issues.
    Night fishing is recognized as an important activity on the beaches 
of Cape Cod National Seashore. Vehicles displaying a permit approved by 
the Superintendent are able to access paved public parking lots, closed 
to the general public after hours, for nighttime fishing.
    An annual report submitted to the Secretary of the Interior will 
include an analysis of the annual operating costs of the ORV program.
    The negotiated rulemaking committee discussed a potential future 
need for commercial permittees who would bring people to various outer 
beach locations to fish, swim, picnic or enjoy other activities 
compatible with the establishment of the Seashore. This service could 
potentially reduce the number of people needing to drive their personal 
ORV'S on the beach. The Seashore agreed to evaluate the impact if the 
number of commercial permits for the ORV corridor exceeded the number 
issued in 1981 (18). Operators of a passenger vehicle for hire, engaged 
in carrying passengers for a fee on a designated ORV route, will obtain 
a permit for commercial use issued by the Superintendent. One condition 
of this permit will be that the applicants must demonstrate they 
possess adequate knowledge of the Seashore's off-road system and points 
of interest, and they must comply with all applicable Federal, State 
and local regulations. The fee for this permit will be based on the 
costs incurred by the NPS to administer this program. Failure to comply 
with any provision of an ORV permit, any regulation listed in this 
section or Part 2 or Part 4 of this chapter, or the requirements of the 
commercial use permit may result in revocation of permits by the 
    The committee recognized that, even given the greater flexibility 
of the consensus rule, there is a high probability portions of the 
beach may be closed at various times because of resource protection 
concerns. To provide access to some locations immediately adjacent to 
prime fishing areas, the committee identified ``limited parking areas'' 
for fishing access. These areas will be sand pull-offs located behind 
the primary dunes and be limited to two or three cars. NPS staff will 
identify areas for these to be located on the High Head access route 
and the Power Line route. Every attempt will be made to locate the 
parking spaces on previously impacted areas. They will be located to 
provide minimal visual impact and to minimize widening of the route or 
impact to vegetation. The spaces will be posted to identify that only 
people actively fishing may park.
    It is recognized that boat launching, within the ORV corridor, is 
permitted by properly approved and permitted vehicles. The definition 
of boat in this context does not include personal watercraft ( e.g., 
jet skis style vessel). Additional information regarding the 
requirements pertaining to the use of personal watercraft and boats is 
contained within the Compendium of Designations, Closures (36 CFR 1.5 
and 1.7) for Cape Cod National Seashore and 36 CFR Part 3.
    Self-contained vehicles will continue to be managed as they have in 
the past. A self-contained vehicle is a vehicle with a water or 
chemical toilet and a permanently installed holding tank able to hold a 
minimum of three days of waste material. It is recognized that self-
contained vehicles need to be located within close proximity to a beach 
access route. They also need to be located on a wider section of beach 
away from vegetation. The access route for self-contained vehicles must 
be fairly flat and stable. These factors will limit the possible 
locations for this activity. The committee agreed that, while the 
location of the self-contained parking area may need to shift somewhat, 
neither the scale nor the general level of impact would increase.
    All the organizations represented by the committee agreed that the 
protection of the piping plover is important. There was consensus on 
the need to close beaches to ORV's when chicks have hatched and before 
they have fledged.
    The committee acknowledged Executive Order 12962, Recreational 
Fisheries, which, in part, acknowledges the importance of participating 
in recreational fishing, and protecting and conserving fish stock.
    The NPS recognizes the importance of citizen participation in the 
ORV program. In accordance with NPS policy, a program will be developed 
to make use of the unique skills and knowledge of individuals within 
the ORV community. This program will formalize and recognize the 
preservation efforts, education, beach clean up and other activities 
many of these individuals already perform.

Comments Received on Proposed ORV Regulation

    During the public review period for the proposed Off-Road Vehicle 
Regulation for Cape Cod National Seashore, 15 written comments were 
received. Because of the concurrent comment period for the 
Environmental Assessment (EA) and the proposed regulation, some of 
these letters dealt partially or totally with comments on the EA. 
Response to EA comments will be dealt with separately as part of the 
NEPA process.
    Of the 15 comments received, nine supported the regulation, one 
opposed it and five offered comment but were neutral as to whether they 
supported or opposed it. In addition to written comments, approximately 
6 telephone comments were received. All telephone contacts supported 
the regulation.

[[Page 9146]]

    In compliance with guidelines established as part of the negotiated 
rulemaking process and agreed to by all participants, organizations 
that were at the table during the rulemaking were not allowed to 
comment on the proposed regulation. They were invited to comment on the 
EA because this was drafted solely by the NPS and, unlike the proposed 
regulation, the organizations did not have a chance to review or 
comment on it during the rulemaking process. Individual members of 
organizations that were represented at the table were allowed to 
comment on the proposed regulation.

Annual Cap of 3400 Permits

    The issue raised by the most people or organizations (four) was 
about the annual cap of 3,400 permits. Concerns were raised as to how 
this limit was established and justified. One group felt the number was 
too high, whereas others felt there should not be a limit to the number 
of permits issued. Some suggested that there should be a limit to the 
number of vehicles on the beach at any one time. Two suggested this 
system favored people who live in Massachusetts.
    The rulemaking group spent considerable time discussing this issue. 
The group agreed that it was important to limit the number of vehicles 
on the beach, but at the same time to allow some growth in the number 
of users. The group understood the complexity of instituting a daily 
limit--numerous access points, potential traffic problems as users 
lined up to wait for people to leave, people who buy an annual pass but 
use it only for a limited time would be unsure if they would have 
access and additional staff needed to control access. Because of these 
concerns, the daily limit option was dropped in favor of the annual 
    The annual cap was arrived at by looking at the number of permits 
which have been issued in the past and adding 10% to that number. 
Because the number of annual permits that can be issued in a calendar 
year exceeds the usual number issued, there has been no need to 
establish a procedure for issuing permits. When it appears that the 
annual cap will be reached, the NPS will work with an advisory group, 
which is a sub-committee of the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory 
Commission, to establish a procedure that gives equal access to permits 
for people in-state as well as for people from out-of-state.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

    One group reminded the NPS that one of the areas of consensus 
during the negotiated rulemaking, was that the launching of PWC from 
the ORV corridor was prohibited. This statement is in the preamble of 
the regulation and has been codified in the park's compendium in the 
section dealing with boating. In addition, the NPS will be addressing 
the issue of PWCs through comment rulemaking in the general 

Piping Plovers

    One individual questioned the need to have an automatic closure of 
a section of the corridor from April 1 through July 20th. During the 
negotiated rulemaking many groups saw an advantage to having an 
automatic closure of a section of the corridor, especially with the 
establishment of another section which had a higher probability of not 
having nesting plovers. Because of the high concentration of plovers on 
the beach in the section scheduled for automatic closure, ORV users had 
to check daily to see whether or not they would be able to get out to 
that section of the beach. Also, this section of the beach required a 
high amount of management by the NPS as all the nests, eggs and chicks 
had to be checked each day. Because of these and other reasons, the 
group decided to schedule the automatic closure of a section of the 


    One individual questioned the cost of running the ORV program, 
specifically the cost of patrolling the night fishing area, and stated 
that as a taxpayer they did not want to support this high cost 
activity. The regulation specifically states that the costs to run and 
manage the ORV program will be recovered by the Seashore through the 
cost of the permits. The cost of the program will be borne by the 
people who benefit from the program.

Winter Use of the ORV Corridor

    One group stated that the regulation was unclear as to how limited 
access passes (LAP) for winter ORV use would be managed. The regulation 
states that winter use of the beach for ORV use would require an annual 
ORV pass as well as a LAP. Access must be for the purposes of getting 
to the town shellfishing beds at Hatches Harbor, recovering personal 
property or flotsam and jetsam from the beach, caretaker functions at a 
dune cottage or fishing. In addition, an operator is required to view a 
special education program on the unique situations encountered on a 
winter beach. To allow for the development of a system that is flexible 
and meets the needs of the users, provides for visitor safety and 
protects the resources, the specifics of the limited access pass are 
not included in the regulation. The Seashore staff, working with the 
advisory group, will develop procedures for winter access that meet all 
of these requirements. If problems arise the procedures will be 
reviewed, and if appropriate, revised to best accommodate all concerns 
while meeting the objectives of the regulation.

Support for the Regulation

    One letter from a local resident claims that all of the surfcasters 
he has spoken with are 100 percent behind the new regulations. He made 
a point of saying that their appreciation will be shown by their making 
an extra effort to follow any guidelines to the ``T'', and to be 
courteous and considerate to all they come across in their travels.

Drafting Information

    A formal negotiated rulemaking was utilized in the development of 
this proposed rule in accordance with the Federal Advisory Commission 
Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (5 U.S.C. 561).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.), the information collection requirements contained in this 
rule have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and 
assigned clearance number 1024-0026. This information is being 
collected to solicit information that is necessary for the 
Superintendent to issue off-road vehicle permits. The public is being 
asked to provide this information in order for the park to track the 
number of permits issued and to whom they are issued. Should the park 
need to contact the permittees, a mechanism will be in place to allow 
them to do so. The information will be used to grant administrative 
benefits. The obligation to respond is required to obtain a benefit.
    Specifically, the NPS needs the following information to issue a 
    (1) Name and address of registered owner.
    (2) Driver's license number and State of issue.
    (3) Vehicle license plate number and State.
    (4) Vehicle description, including year, make, model and color.
    (5) Make, model and size of tires.
    (6) List of equipment on board as required in section 4 of the 
    The public reporting burden for the collection of information in 
this instance is estimated to be 0.28 hours per response, including the 
time for

[[Page 9147]]

reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed and completing and reviewing the collection 
of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any 
other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions 
for reducing the burden of these information collection requests, to 
Information Collection Officer, National Park Service, 800 North 
Capitol Street, Washington, D.C. 20001; and the Office of Management 
and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: 
Desk Officer for Department of the Interior (1024-0125), Washington, 
D.C. 20503.

Compliance With Other Laws

    This rule was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under 
Executive Order 12866. The Department of the Interior determined that 
this document will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The economic effects of this rulemaking are 
local in nature and negligible in scope.
    The NPS has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq.), that this rule will not 
impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local, State 
or tribal governments or private entities.
    This regulation is subject to National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) compliance and an Environmental Assessment (EA) has been 
completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact has been determined. 
This document is available for public review and can be obtained by 
contacting the park at the address noted at the beginning of this 

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NPS amends 36 CFR Chapter I as 


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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 460(q), 462(k), Sec. 7.96 also 
issued under Code 8-137 (1981) and D.C. Code 40-721 (1981).
    2. Revise section 7.67(a) to read as follows:

Sec. 7.67  Cape Cod National Seashore.

    (a) Off-road operation of motor vehicles.
    (1) What do I need to do to operate a vehicle off road? To operate 
a vehicle off road at Cape Cod National Seashore, you must meet the 
requirements in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section. You also 
must obtain a special permit if you:
    (i) Will use an oversand vehicle (see paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) 
of this section for details);
    (ii) Will use an oversand vehicle to camp (see paragraph (a)(8) of 
this section for details); or
    (iii) Are a commercial operator (see paragraph (a)(9) of this 
section for details).
    (2) Where and when can I operate my vehicle off road? You may 
operate a vehicle off road only under the conditions specified in the 
following table. However, the Superintendent may close any access or 
oversand route at any time for weather, impassable conditions due to 
changing beach conditions, or to protect resources.

                 Route                      When you may use the route  
On the outer beach between the opening   April 15 through November 15,  
 to Hatches Harbor, around Race Point     except Exit 8 to High Head    
 to High Head, including the North and    which is closed April 1       
 South Beach access routes at Race        through July 20.              
 Point and the bypass route at Race                                     
 Point Light.                                                           
Off road vehicle corridor from Exit 8    July 21 through November 15.   
 to High Head.                                                          
Access road at High Head from the        January 1 through December 31. 
 inland parking area to the primary                                     
Designated dune parking area at High     January 1 through December 31. 
 Head (for fishing only).                                               
Power Line Route access and fishing      Only when the Superintendent   
 parking area.                            opens the route due to high   
                                          tides, beach erosion,         
                                          shorebird closure or other    
                                          circumstances which will, as a
                                          result, warrant public use of 
                                          this access way.              
On controlled access routes for          January 1 through December 31. 
 residents or caretakers of individual                                  
 dune cottages in the Province Lands.                                   
On commercial dune taxi routes           April 15 through November 15.  
 following portions of the outer beach                                  
 and cottage access routes as described                                 
 in the appropriate permit.                                             
On the outer beach from High Head to     July 1 through August 31.      
 Head of the Meadow.                                                    
Coast Guard beach in Truro to Long Nook  April 15 through November 15   
 beach.                                   (hours posted).               

    (3) May I launch a boat from a designated route? Boat trailering 
and launching by a permitted vehicle from a designated open route 
corridor is permitted.
    (4) What travel restrictions and special rules must I obey? You 
must comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter, including 
part 4, as well as the specific provisions of this section.
    (i) On the beach, you must drive in a corridor extending from a 
point 10 feet seaward of the spring high tide drift line to the berm 
crest. You may drive below the berm crest only to pass a temporary cut 
in the beach, and you must regain the crest immediately following the 
cut. Delineator posts mark the landward side of the corridor in 
critical areas.
    (ii) On an inland oversand route, you must drive only in a lane 
designated by pairs of delineator posts showing the sides of the route.
    (iii) An oversand route is closed at any time that tides, nesting 
birds, or surface configuration prevent vehicle travel within the 
designated corridor.
    (iv) When two vehicles meet on the beach, the operator of the 
vehicle with the water on the left must yield, except that self-
contained vehicles always have the right of way.
    (v) When two vehicles meet on a single-lane oversand route, the 
operator of the vehicle in the best position to yield must pull out of 
the track only so far as necessary to allow the other vehicle to pass 
safely, and then must back into the established track before resuming 
the original direction of travel.
    (vi) If you make a rut or hole while freeing a stuck vehicle, you 
must fill the rut or hole before you remove the vehicle from the 
immediate area.
    (5) What activities are prohibited? The following are prohibited:
    (i) Driving off a designated oversand route.
    (ii) Exceeding a speed of 15 miles per hour unless posted 

[[Page 9148]]

    (iii) Parking a vehicle in an oversand route so as to obstruct 
    (iv) Riding on a fender, tailgate, roof, door or any other location 
on the outside of a vehicle.
    (v) Driving a vehicle across a designated swimming beach at any 
time when it is posted with a sign prohibiting vehicles.
    (vi) Operating a motorcycle on an oversand route.
    (6) What special equipment must I have in my vehicle? You must have 
in your vehicle all the equipment required by the Superintendent, 
    (i) Shovel;
    (ii) Tow rope, chain, cable or other similar towing device;
    (iii) Jack;
    (iv) Jack support board;
    (v) Low air pressure tire gauge; and
    (vi) Five tires that meet or exceed established standards.
    (7) What requirements must I meet to operate an oversand vehicle? 
You may operate an oversand vehicle only if you first obtain an 
oversand permit from the Superintendent. The Superintendent administers 
the permit system for oversand vehicles and charges fees that are 
designed to recover NPS administrative costs.
    (i) The oversand permit is a Special Use Permit issued under the 
authority of 36 CFR 1.6 and 4.10. You must provide the following 
information for each vehicle for which you request a permit:
    (A) Name and address of registered owner;
    (B) Driver's license number and State of issue;
    (C) Vehicle license plate number and State of issue; and
    (D) Vehicle description, including year, make, model and color; 
make, model and size of tires.
    (ii) Before we issue a permit, you must:
    (A) Demonstrate that your vehicle is equipped as required in 
paragraph (a)(6) of this section;
    (B) Provide evidence that you have complied with all Federal and 
State licensing registering, inspecting and insurance regulations; and
    (C) View an oversand vehicle operation educational program and 
ensure that all other potential operators view the same program.
    (iii) The Superintendent will affix the permit to your vehicle at 
the time of issuance.
    (iv) You must not transfer your oversand permit from one vehicle to 
    (8) What requirements must I meet to operate an oversand vehicle in 
the off season?
    To operate an oversand vehicle between November 16 and April 14, 
you must obtain from the Superintendent an oversand permit and a 
limited access pass. We will issue you a limited access pass if you 
have a valid oversand permit (see paragraph (a)(7) of this section) and 
if you have viewed an educational program that outlines the special 
aspects of off season oversand use.
    (i) You may operate a vehicle during the off-season only on the 
portion of the beach between High Head and Hatches Harbor.
    (ii) You must not operate a vehicle during the off-season within 
two hours either side of high tide.
    (iii) We may issue a limited access pass for the following 
    (A) Access to town shellfish beds at Hatches Harbor;
    (B) Recovery of personal property, flotsam and jetsam from the 
    (C) Caretaker functions at a dune cottage; or
    (D) Fishing.
    (9) What requirements must I meet to use an oversand vehicle for 
camping? You may use an oversand vehicle to camp on the beach only in 
the manner authorized in this section or as authorized by the 
Superintendent through another approved permitting process.
    (i) You must possess a valid permit issued under paragraph (a)(7) 
of this section.
    (ii) You may camp only in a self-contained vehicle that you park in 
a designated area. A self-contained vehicle has a self-contained water 
or chemical toilet and a permanently installed holding tank with a 
minimum capacity of 3 days waste material. There are two designated 
areas with a maximum combined capacity of 100 vehicles.
    (A) You must drive the self-contained vehicle off the beach to 
empty holding tanks at a dumping station at intervals of no more than 
72 hours.
    (B) Before returning to the beach, you must notify the Oversand 
Station as specified by the Superintendent.
    (iii) You must not drive a self-contained vehicle outside the 
limits of a designated camping area except when entering or leaving the 
beach by the most direct authorized route.
    (iv) You are limited to a maximum of 21 days camping on the beach 
from July 1 through Labor Day.
    (10) What special requirements must I meet if I have a commercial 
    (i) To operate a passenger vehicle for hire on a designated 
oversand route, you must obtain a permit from the Superintendent. The 
Superintendent issues the permit under the authority of 36 CFR 1.6, 
4.10 and 5.6.
    (ii) You must obey all applicable regulations in this section and 
all applicable Federal, State and local regulations concerning vehicles 
for hire.
    (iii) You must provide the following information for each vehicle 
that will use a designated oversand route:
    (A) Name and address of tour company and name of company owner;
    (B) Make and model of vehicle;
    (C) Vehicle license plate number and State of issue; and
    (D) Number of passenger seats.
    (11) How will the Superintendent manage the off-road vehicle 
    (i) The Superintendent will issue no more than a combined total of 
3400 oversand permits annually, including self-contained permits.
    (ii) The Superintendent will monitor the use and condition of the 
oversand routes to review the effects of vehicles on natural, cultural, 
and aesthetic resources in designated corridors. If the Superintendent 
finds that resource degradation or visitor impact is occurring, he/she 
may amend, rescind, limit the use of, or close designated routes. The 
Superintendent will do this consistent with 36 CFR 1.5 and 1.7 and all 
applicable Executive Orders;
    (iii) The Superintendent will consult with the Cape Cod National 
Seashore Advisory Commission regarding management of the off-road 
vehicle program.
    (iv) The Superintendent will recognize and use volunteers to 
provide education, inventorying, monitoring, field support, and other 
activities involving off-road vehicle use. The Superintendent will do 
this in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 18 g-j.
    (v) The Superintendent will report annually to the Secretary of the 
Interior and to the public the results of the monitoring conducted 
under this section, subject to availability of funding.
    (12) What are the penalties for violating the provisions of this 
section? Violation of a term or condition of an oversand permit issued 
in accordance with this section is prohibited. A violation may also 
result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.
    (13) Has OMB approved the collection of information in this 
section? As required by 44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq., the Office of 
Management and Budget has approved the information collection 
requirement contained in this section. The OMB approval number is 1024-
0026. We are collecting this information to allow the Superintendent to 
issue off-road vehicle permits. You must provide the information in 
order to obtain a permit.
* * * * *

[[Page 9149]]

    Dated: February 8, 1998.
Donald J. Barry,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 98-4638 Filed 2-23-98; 8:45 am]

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