National Parks ban

JWW

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#1
Even though this is about jet skis, I think this will relate to our sport. See quote below "noisy, smelly and dangerous machines"
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Jet Ski Ban Approved for Parks
By JOHN HEILPRIN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jet Skis and other personal watercraft will be banned in all national parks and recreation areas after two more summers under a settlement approved by a federal judge Thursday.

The gasoline-powered personal watercraft are already banned from 66 of the 87 parks, recreational areas and seashores where motorized boats are allowed throughout the nation. Thursday's order by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler affects the remaining 21.

Kessler dismissed a challenge from watercraft manufacturers and vendors to the agreement negotiated last December by the Interior Department and the Bluewater Network, a San Francisco-based environmental group. The Bush administration endorsed the accord.

The Park Service agreed that unless it can prove the machines don't harm the environment on a site-by-site basis, each will be added to a list of Jet Ski-free zones by Sept. 15, 2002.

"This Jet Ski settlement is great news for the national parks,'' said Sean Smith, spokesman for the San Francisco-based Bluewater Network environmental group that had sued the National Park Service. "It will better protect the visiting public as well as park resources and wildlife from these noisy, smelly and dangerous machines.''

Last year, the Park Service banned Jet Skis from two-thirds of the national parks. That prompted Bluewater Network to file a federal lawsuit to widen the ban to the remaining 21 parks and recreation areas. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association and the American Watercraft Association tried unsuccessfully to intervene.

Manufacturers and owners have argued that personal watercraft pollute less and are more maneuverable than motorboats, and that the nation's 1.2 million watercraft owners have a right to use public waterways.

Monita Fontaine, the industry association's director, said Thursday she was disappointed but still expected to get Jet Skis, which cost an average of $7,000, approved for use in the parks based on new technology that cuts emissions and noise.

"We're not happy with the process, we believe we've been singled out,'' she said. "You can take any other boat you want in the park -- you can take a cigarette boat.''

Over the past three years, she said, the two-stroke outboard motors used in Jet Skis have reduced their hydrocarbon emissions by 75 percent and their noise by 70 percent.

"If there is evidence that there is a substantial impact on the environment from Jet Ski use, they have the right to ban them,'' she said. "However, we believe that we will be able to pass any environmental assessment.''

The 21 areas affected are can be seen here. On the Net:

Bluewater Network Web site: http://www.bluewaternetwork.org

National Park Service Web site: http://www.nps.gov

Personal Watercraft Industry Association Web site: http://www.pwia.org


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KWJams

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#2
Sometimes I really wonder
where it all went wrong.

The same with FC22's thread, the money it will cost to do all these studies will be what shuts down trails and closes waterways.



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fremontguy

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#3
Glad I got my summer of wave blaster riding in on Lake Tahoe before they shut us out. The water nazis have pushed pwc owners to the ocean, and I can only assume that this area will be taken next. Ocean wave hopping can be fun though, just add wetsuit.
 

bbbom

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#4
No No NOOO do not give up!!!
According to the Press Release by the Bluewater Eco Nazi's:

The settlement, finalized during the Bush Administration, requires the Park Service to prohibit the thrill-craft at these 21 parks unless the agency undertakes a park-specific rulemaking process which complies with environmental reviews as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The settlement also guarantees public involvement in any rulemaking process. Jet ski operation may continue in these 21 parks while the NPS undergoes the rulemaking process. However, the settlement stipulates that the process must be completed no later than the fall of 2002.

Back to Bbbom:

They did not ban them yet but, unless we make our opinions heard they WILL! Back to more letters, phone calls, emails, meetings with Forest Service people. If you look at the link for Lake Roosevelt http://www.nps.gov/laro/pwcpress.htm (the only one near me on the list) the Park Management intends to develop the special reg to allow PWC's to stay. So, there is hope but we DO need to act NOW!

It's the same old game, start with the smaller population and build to ban everything!! First snowmobiles, then jetskis, then dirtbikes, then.........

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WoodsRider

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#5
I'm going to throw a little gasoline on this fire. When you talk about National Parks, I envision places like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, etc. I do not believe that motorized recreation should be allowed in National Parks.

Okay, snowmobiling in Yellowstone in the winter is okay, but that's due to the circumstances. However, I do agree with motorized access to National Forests and other Gov't owned lands.

There is a difference. I go to an National Park to enjoy the beauty of nature, not to partake in motorized recreation.

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#6
Woods,
I think the thing that everbody is afraid of is the snowball effect. National parks today, local lakes and rivers tommorow.

I'm not a PWC person. As a matter of fact, I rather dislike them when fishing on the local river. But they pay registration, just like I do.

I'm not sure where to group them, since there is a similarity to dirt biking.

It's another one of those subjects where a few bad apples have ruined it for all. I'll tolerate them in my Sylvan fishing boat, but when I'm out in my kayak, the wakes scare the cr*p outta me. Some slow down and go by without a wake, while others make you know they were there. Pretty seldom does a boat operator not slow down...
 

bbbom

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Woodsrider, I understand the differentiation you are making concerning National Parks vs Forest and all but, as far as I know powerboats are still allowed at the National Park Lakes that have banned PWC's.

So, cigarette boats and jet boats and any other type of boat is acceptable but PWC's aren't?

As far as PWC operators being less courteous, that is a huge generalization, much like the ones being used against dirtbikes.

We (my family and I) ride jetski's up here and have since the early days and we always try to be courteous to others. Yes, there are rude PWC operators and rude boat operators and rude dirtbikers. Basically, there are rude self centered people anywhere you go but, instead of singling out one type of watercraft from the others that are NOT any better maybe we should pass a law that rude, self centered people aren't allowed in public! Of course that would be as popular as my idea that in addition to the standard written and driving tests given for a driver's license, they should also give an IQ test.

My point is - these are lands for all of us to use. Saying that it is acceptable for acivities that may disturb someone's pusuit of another activity to be banned sounds just like the greenies! Our dirtbikes offend them so we shouldn't be allowed to use them on publicly owned lands. Pollution, noise, non compatible uses, all the other unsubstantiated claims they use against dirtbikes they are using here too. Yes they all pollute, everything the civilized world uses or does seems to pollute, heck cow farts pollute!

What is interesting is the only lake on the list that would affect me locally is Lake Roosevelt and almost half of it is located in Tribal Lands so the ban would have no effect whatsoever for half the lake! Now that would be interesting. Wonder how many of us banned PWC's will be cruising the dividing line waving to the acceptable people on the other side?

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WoodsRider

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#8
In trying to keep this thread from turning into a flame, I'd like to state a few points.

1) There are little, if any, controls placed on PWC operators. How many 12 year-olds can legally operate a 750cc motorcycle? Yet many times I have seen young children operating PWC's.

2) Many lakes throughout the country are considering PWC restrictions of some type. My personal experience with this was at Lake Conroe in Texas, where PWC accidents quadrupled in a 2 year period. Many times the wife and I felt it was unsafe to ski behind our boat due to the number of PWCs on the water.

3) PWC's are simple to operate (especially compared to the old stand-up jet skis) and new operators quickly become over-confident. Analogous to quads... and we all know how we feel about them sometimes... inexperienced operators are responsible for more something like 70% of all PWC accidents.

4) Some of these same problems also occur with small boats used for skiing and/or fishing. However PWC's are more affordable, take up less room and require less maintenance, so there are more of them. While I do not agree with bans of any type, I do feel that restrictions should be placed on PWC's and small boats. Perhaps some sort of licensing system governed by the Coast Guard.

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#9
I have designed a 5 engined, jet drive, 2 stroke powered boat. I guess I will enjoy using it at the national parks! Gee, I guess it does not pollute as much as 5 SeaDoo's..........NOT!

Chris

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bbbom

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#10
Not to worry Woodsrider, I don't take this as a flame, just a discussion of opinions.

In answer to your post though, here in WA state you must be at least 14 years of age to operate a PWC. Our PWC's are under the same regulations and licensing req's as any other watercraft. You can and should get busted if you are not following the rules or are causing problems. But just like driving on the road, it rarely happens when it should.

As for the idea that PWCs are easier to own & operate, that is true. But in the same sense they are much easier to manuever also. PWC's can turn faster and tighter than most any boat plus, they can stop faster if needed.

I agree that there are irresponsible people on PWC's but like you said, there are irresponsible people operating other watercraft. You will find irresponsible and just plain stupid people involved in ANY activity you want to look at.

Banning PWC's will do nothing more than bring the greenies one step closer to banning ALL powersports and any activity that doesn't fit their agenda.

I don't have a problem with some areas being off limits to motorized recreation. There are many areas that are already. The people that object to motorized recreation should go to the areas that do not allow it instead of trying to force us from the few areas where it is allowed which is what they are trying to do with these bans. They have already banned PWC's from 66 of our 87 National Parks that did allow them, now you want the other 21 to yourself too?

Don't take it personally but that sentiment just seems selfish to me but then, that is the Klinton legacy isn't it!


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[This message has been edited by bbbom (edited 04-18-2001).]
 

HiG4s

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#11
Woods, bbbom
Same here in Floirda, must be 14 for boat or PWC and must have taking and passed a safey course.

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Smokin Joe

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#12
Just Another Angle&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;

I see the point as this:

THEY DON'T WANT US (dirt bikes, PWC's, ATV's, etc, etc) ON WHAT THEY PERCEIVE TO BE AS THEIR LAND!!!

Using noise, emissions, land scars and other eco damage is just a tool to get us off what they believe is THEIR & ONLY THEIR LAND!!!!

Certainly, reducing all negative impacts is truly a noble effort; it is what should be done. But, please do not delude yourselves; our enemies will never stop. If emissions are reduced by 75% then they will come back and want them cut by another 75% and on and on. You know for sure that they would find a way to make even the electric dirt bikes to have some kind of horrendous negative impact.

We must continue the fight and do what is reasonable to reduce noise and pollution but you'll reach a point where we MUST force them to compromise on OUR terms, not theirs. Remember, they always set the targets unrealistically low so that they can appear to be compromising and reasonable but its all a sham; they always get what their after because the compromise point is better than what they could get if they were to be reasonable from the start.

Its us or them, sooner or later they will have us backed against the wall unless we become even more proactive instead of just reacting evertime they threaten to close something down.

Sorry for the long winded rant but when you read between the lines you realize we are dealing with close minded people who will stop at nothing to keep others from enjoying decent, healthy, family oriented recreational recreational activities. They are the same people who want zero or even negative population growth as well! Whooops, there I go again.

Joe

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WoodsRider

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#13
bbbom - I did not know WA had a minimum age of 14. This must be a recent law because there was definitely no minimum age when I lived there. The one thing about PWC's, at least the one's I have ridden, there is no reverse. Any good mariner will use reverse like brakes, to manuever their vessel. Also, if you want to talk manueverability, go for a ride in one of Foss Tugs "egg-beaters" sometime.

Joe - I do believe in a united front. The problem is careless operators. All it takes is a couple of yokel's to ride off the trail on theirs quads, find some mud hole and dig ruts to China. The GAG's see this sort of thing and promote it to the masses, the majority of which never use public land. Public sentiment is then turned against OHV use. These same tactics are being applied to boot PWC's from lakes in Nat'l Parks.
 

bbbom

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#14
Exactly!! Careless operators and user's are the problem in all this - PWC's, dirtbikes, quads.....

One of our local County ORV parks was almost shut down because people wouldn't stay on the trails, keep it clean and respect the private property of the neighbors. Because of the hard work and negotiations between a couple of the local clubs and the county here, we have been able to save the park. The County donated equipment and materials and the clubs put up barricades, signs, fences and cleaned the place up and they have taken on the responsibility of enforcing the rules by being out there and talking to other users.

I have close friends that love to "pioneer" new trails and I have had to remind them over and over you just CAN'T!! Sometimes the irresponsible people are just not aware that what they are doing is a problem. It doesn't always work but usually, if you can talk to these people and explain that, yes I know it's fun to blaze new trails or haul butt on your PWC through the no wake zone but do you realize that you are giving the people that want to shut you down great ammunition - it wakes them up!

Joe, you can't rant too much on this subject. The trend over the past 30 years has been towards more and more restrictions and closing off areas to motorized recreation and in some cases closing areas off to any human use besides hiking.

Where will it all end if we let them continually whittle away at it?

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