This whole issue is hard for me because I do believe in conservation. I also believe that there have been some dishonest goings on from the groups defending the birds. Since there are no hidden cameras to determine who has been messing with the signs, it could just as easily be the bird group. Frankly it does not make sense for it to be the local people because they LOSE more beach every time the signs are messed with.
I know for a fact that the economic damage is huge. I know people who live on the island and try to run businesses. They were having trouble staying afloat last year, even before the current economic woes. All the Outer Banks saw a slow down last year, but the Hatteras Island folks were down some 20 % more than even the main areas (Nags Head, etc).
If the court is going to declare war on people's jobs and lives, they should have to pay for it. Let the Audubon Society buy every single house and business on Hatteras Island since those people are being prevented from making a living. Or pay the local people for all the money they have lost in the beach closures.
What needs to happen now is for people to rig up some night, hidden cameras to catch the sign vandals at work. If it shows Audubon people doing it to further their goals (as I personally think it will), they should be jailed and locals should be allowed to sue them for damages.