The following article is shown here with permission of the Jacksonville
JULY 15, 2001
Park work still to be scheduled
Cape Lookout improvements may not begin
DAILY NEWS STAFF
CAPE LOOKOUT -- Fishermen and other visitors
to Cape Lookout National Seashore won't notice any of the National Park
Service's planned changes to the cabin sites at Core Banks any time soon.
An amendment to the national seashore's
current General Management Plan has been finalized, putting into place plans
for revising ferry and cabin services at Cape Lookout.
While that will ultimately mean the
construction of some new cabins and the tearing down of others, Cape Lookout
National Seashore Superintendent Karren Brown says that won't happen this year
and maybe not even the next.
"The very earliest we could see
something is summer 2002, but I would be surprised if anything noticeable
happened that early. I think it will be summer of 2003 before we see anything
happen," she said.
As part of this revision to its management
plan, Cape Lookout National Seashore intends to negotiate long-term contracts
with concessionaires to transport visitors and vehicles from the mainland
communities of Davis and Atlantic to the two cabin sites on Core Banks.
Included in those contracts, will be the
plans the park service has set out for improving the overnight accommodations
at the cabin areas at Great Island on South Core Banks and Long Point on North
The old cabins at Great Island will be
removed and 30 new cabins constructed in their place. Also, 10 new cabins will
be added to the existing ones at Long Point.
To make all this happen, the National Park
Service must now develop prospectus' to send out to potential concessionaires
to contract with. Morris Marina Kabin Kamps and Ferry Service in Atlantic and
Alger Willis Fishing Camps of Davis currently hold contracts with Cape Lookout
to provide ferry service and cabin management.
Brown said it's possible that the current
concessionaires may retain their contracts, but the National Park Service must
solicit for bids nationally. She said businesses must show responsibility and
other qualities beyond just the financial means to provide the services,
factors that could benefit the businesses that have long provided the service
to the park.
"They've shown the responsibility, have
the experience, and are located here locally, so they have a lot going for
them," she said.
During several years of review, several
alternatives for addressing overnight accommodations and transportation to the
park were analyzed and put forth for public comment.
Balancing a desire for accommodations for a
broader range of park visitors with the public's opposition to additional
development at the seashore and the park's need to protect the resource, the
National Park Service came up with the above plan.
With a finding of no significant impact to
the environment or endangered species, the preferred plan has now been
incorporated into Cape Lookout's General Management Plan.
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