National Park Service weighing updated driving rules

Fire Island National Seashore informational sessions

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The National Park Service held two information sessions last week to hear from the public about proposals to update the rules for off-road vehicle access to Fire Island National Seashore. The rules have been in place since 1987.

Among the changes the Park Service is considering is considering are increasing the number of driving permits issued to eligible year-round residents from the current 145 (one per household) to 200 under one proposal or allowing all eligible year-round residents to obtain a permit. Towns and villages on the island could still set their own cap.

No new permits would be issued for part-time residents under either of the two proposals.

The Park Service is also considering increasing the number of permits issued to construction and business vehicles and eliminating the cap for public utilities and essential services vehicles.

Public safety vehicles including police, fire and EMS, would continue to have unlimited access.

The rules apply only to land controlled by the Park Service. Towns and villages on Fire Island set their own limits within their control. 

If the public wants to submit written comments to the National Park Service, people have until Dec. 4 to do so.

The Park Service held a virtual information session on Nov. 14 and an in-person session on Nov. 15. It expects to finalize the rules by fall 2024.