Popular private Outer Banks Avon fishing pier fights to stay open, NPS shuts them down today.
Recently I read where the fine folks at Avon fishing pier were going to open their business regardless of the Government Shutdown. I certainly thought this to be a pretty brave and spirited thing to do and wanted to find out more about the situation.
Today I spoke with Christian Matthews of the Avon fishing pier and got the lowdown. She said that the pier is privately owned and opened to the public as a business. However it is on federal land. So there is no real way for people to access the pier because they would have to cross federal land to get to a public locality. This same exact issue is happening at other locations around the country. On the Eastern Shore of VA, the wildlife refuge has a very popular public boat ramp and marina heavily utilized by watermen who make their living fishing these waters. However it is located on federal property. So, anyone can see the huge problem that this causes.
Not only are the fine folks who are furloughed not getting a pay check, but the private businesses are getting no business at all. The worst of it is the government may reimburse furloughed employees, but there is no way to pay back the private businesses that lost 100% revenue.
One thing that fuels this fire for the anglers and commercial fisherman is that this time of year is one of the busiest times, especially the fall season on the Outer Banks. As it stands now, this revenue that is lost will not be repaid by our government.
The National Park Service got wind that Avon Pier was going to reopen and as of 5 a.m. this morning they showed up at the pier and made sure it was shut down. They said that if the pier attempts to reopen the fines will start immediately. Hats off to the NPS for not fining them for reopening and instead giving them an initial warning.
Ms Matthews said they are working hard to rectify the situation -however it does not look like anything much can be done.
Certainly this is a huge mess and the entire country is up in arms. Hopefully out of this there could be some legislation written so that in the future if a public business can only be accessed by federal land the business can remain open, or the government can pay back these private businesses for the revenue they lost.
For the moment I hope that all sportsman will very much support these businesses like the Avon pier once things re-open. Helping and supporting them could help make up for lost revenues.
Here is what maybe should happen to all federal politians to help wake them up.
Author of HOOKED
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