WASHINGTON – Amistad National Recreation Area and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, both in Texas, will once again allow the use of personal watercraft within their boundaries – effectively immediately – according to a press release today from the Personal Watercraft Industry Association.
That news comes two years after the National Park Service was required by a court settlement to begin prohibiting personal watercraft from its lands. Three NPS units already welcome personal watercraft, nine units are in the final stages of the rulemaking process to reallow the vessels, and scientific analyses on the effects of personal watercraft are currently underway at two National Seashores, PWIA said.
"We were confident that science would once again rule over bias, and confirm that PWC have no unique impact that justifies singling them out for discriminatory bans," said Jeff Ludwig, Regulatory Affairs manager at the Personal Watercraft Industry Association. "These two re-openings continue a trend of National Park Service findings that there is a place for PWC in units of the National Park system that allow other forms of motorized boating.”
Each unit that seeks to reopen to PWC is required to complete a comprehensive scientific study of their impact on the local environment and economy, and prepare a rule allowing continued PWC use. Amistad and Lake Meredith have both completed this process and have determined that PWC have no unique impact on their waterways, the PWIA said
"In fact, in every instance where a scientific assessment has measured the impact of PWC on a public body of water where motorized boating is permitted, modern PWC have been found to be appropriately included in multiple-use waterways management plans," Ludwig said.
National Park Service Units and current PWC status