The following article is shown here with permission of the Jacksonville Daily News.

SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2001

Park work still to be scheduled
Cape Lookout improvements may not begin until 2003
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 Core Banks.
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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