Time to draw together, everybody, and help conserve energy.

At least one Virginia legislator apparently has taken that message to heart. With some regularity, Del. Warren E. Barry (R-Fairfax) has been taking shortcuts through the restricted Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach, saving about 150 miles round trip on his visits to a remote North Carolina beach.

Now, you're not supposed to drive through federally protected Back Bay without a permit -- or unless you have official business there. Barry didn't think anybody would mind, since he was stopping at False Cape State Park just south of the refuge, he says, to "check on progress" there.

It just so happens that the same route leads to beachfront property Barry owns south of the park in Currituck County, N.C. "I would say that the trips have always involved [state] business," Barry says, adding that "in some cases it's been business which has been combined with some pleasure or relaxation."

Only 39 permits have been issued to locals who need access through the refuge. Barry is lobbying for permits to anyone who owns property on Currituck Outer Banks, and has asked 8th District Republican Rep. Stanford E. Parris to help him get one.