Take a prudent position on this issue

A New Smyrna Beach woman has contacted Gordie Wilson, Superintendent of Fort Matanzas National Monument, and members of the St Johns County Commission, warning them against any action that would restore driving on the beach — and, this woman is one to watch.

Shirley A Reynolds, who lists her address as an oceanfront home, located at 1007 Hill Street in New Smyrna Beach, has been leading the charge to ban beach driving along Florida’s coastline since 1990.

“I urge you to take a prudent position on this issue,” Reynolds told commissioners in her e-mail. She is a long-time advocate of a total ban on beach traffic. She has stated in court documents, obtained by Historic City News, “Beach driving is not an innocuous, recreational activity.”

Reynolds was a Plaintiff in Loggerhead Turtle v. County Council of Volusia County, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, and Atlantic Green Sea Turtle v. Flagler County Board of County Commissioners, and also been a litigant in State of Florida legal proceedings seeking protection of sea turtles along Florida coasts.

In a seven-page typewritten letter to Wilson, Reynolds lays out her case against restoring any form of driving on the beach in response to a 60-day comment period on the National Park Service’s Draft General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Fort Matanzas National Monument.

Reynolds attached her complaints to an e-mail sent to each county commissioner, warning them against getting any ideas to intervene in the matter, saying, “The Commission should carefully consider any position it takes — other than upholding the present ban.”

“Should any action by the Park Service involve lands under the regulatory jurisdiction of St Johns County, within or contiguous with the Incidental Take Permit Plan area, the existing Incidental Take Permit would have to be put out for public comment,” Reynolds said in her e-mail. “It is hoped that this time, it will be subjected to NEPA review because of the adverse human, economic and social adverse impacts of beach driving.”


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