Editorial: Nonsense at the National Seashore

Dan Brown is superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore. In a way he’s the “big boss” of the pristine stretch of barrier islands which skirt the Mississippi and northwest Florida coasts. He’s also head honcho of historic local park areas, such as Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas and the Naval Live Oaks Reserve.

Apparently, all the power his National Park Service position affords him has gone to his head, making him suggest something so absolutely insane that people are asking whether or not he should continue to rule over what he seems to think is his dominion.

Brown said he and his management staff came up with the birdbrain idea to build booths at the east and west ends of the undeveloped seashore stretching between Navarre and Pensacola Beach. At first they only wanted to slow traffic down through shorebird nesting areas and have a place to distribute related educational materials.

Then King Dan started seeing dollar signs. Since the National Park Service is planning drastic increases in prices across the nation, he and his jesters decided they could boost park service revenues by implementing fees for people who drive the now-free scenic route, which also happens to be the ONLY connector road on the beach.

That’s right, Navarre. King Dan wants money, and lots of it, to use what is a currently a free road. And if the leeching of Lady Liberty’s people wasn’t bad enough, he’s trying to take away some of the rights of local fishermen at the same time, claiming a need to ban late-night fishing at the seashore to reduce law enforcement costs.

Additionally, when asked if he and his staff had considered that adding bottlenecking admission booths could have on traffic congestion, especially during major tourism periods, such as the annual Blue Angels airshow on Pensacola Beach, Brown said they hadn’t yet considered it.

Wow. Just wow.

Regretfully, we couldn’t print verbatim the reaction from Santa Rosa Island Authority Director Buck Lee. But it was spot on.

Also, remember, this is the same Dan Brown who a former commissioner said insisted on putting the “No Navarre Pass” clause into the impending federal fee simple ownership legislation – you know, that provision which says Navarre cannot have a pass – not now, not ever.

Well, it’s time to overthrow the dictator who also tries to rule over the east end of the island. We shouldn’t allow such federal leeches to keep preying on hard-working Americans while at the same time trying to take more rights away.

So we recommend calling U.S. Congressman Jeff Miller at 850-479-1183 today, else you’ll regret it in 2015, when Brown wants to charge you $15 to use the free beach road.

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