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Thread: NPS ban of PWCs

  1. #1
    83Gator's Avatar
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    NPS ban of PWCs

    I know there are a few threads out there, but I posted this in plain view of all members.

    As many of you know, there is ongoing debate and discussion regarding a possible permanent ban of PWCs within the Gulf Islands Nat'l Seashore (GUIS). This is a large park covering several states. I will try to keep this as short as possible so here goes:

    HISTORY: Yes, studies were done years ago that were favorable and saw re-introduction of PWCs into the NPS system. A few years back, however, a "radical" environmental group claimed the studies done by the NPS were not extensive enough. They filed suit and won their case which basically caused the NPS to again take up the matter: Are PWCs dangerous to the park(s) and to what extent. Summing up, the plaintiff in the original suit wanted nothing less than a complete ban of PWCs.

    CURRENTLY: Today was the 2nd of 2 public "open house" meetings regarding PWCs in the GUIS. Yesterday's meeting was in Gulf Breeze, FL (which I did not attend). Inquiring about that meeting by others that were present, I was told about 25-30 "boaters" showed up. While they were not specifically pro-PWC, they were against the ban, reasoning that they "might be next".

    At tonight's meeting there was myself, one other enthusiasts, and a PWC dealership owner. That was it for the public. The remainder were park officials, a rep. from an industry association, and a rep of a NPS contractor doing site specific studies. After two hours of discussion my impression from the park officials is they do not have any real "PWC" issues and the same was pretty much concurred by the rep. from the company doing the study. Also, there was quite a bit of talk of how the original law suit addressed a number of issues regarding emission and noise pollution. But most of these concerns are moot points w/the advent of the 4-stroke and other technologies.

    GOING FORWARD: Without going into a bunch of detail, I left that meeting w/the impression there will be no ban issued forth (I could certainly be wrong). Again, many of the original concerns have been addressed w/the newer skis. Other than a ban, which I do not see happening, there may be possible "tweaks" to the current rules, but certainly rules that we could all get along by.

    Is this matter resolved? NO! Is your input important? YES! Follow the link - http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentF...cumentID=51620 - and let the NPS know how you feel. Your opinions matter and will be regarded before any final ruling is made. Public comment at the above link will be open until 12.15.13

    FINALLY: If you have any questions, I will try to answer them, but a lot will likely be my opinion based on my experience at tonight's meeting. Please stay on topic...

    PS: Did I ask you to follow the link and comment? Please do!


  2. #2
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Thank you, Billy! I wish I could have been there with you. You're probably the most articulate and best suited to this particular task (which is why I "drafted" you).

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    Formerly Ultra250 TN Aquaholic6801's Avatar
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    Inputted my Input.....

    Good Luck.....

  5. #4
    NOAA did a study about the adverse effects of a boat and a jet ski many years ago in the keys. they drove a ski in circles for a certain period of time and did the same with a boat in a different area, and what they found was that the ski aerated the water and actually caused a documented increase in growth and health in the sea grass and with any nearby area. The refered to it as an explosion of growth. Where as the boat did nothing more then dig holes, destroy the bottom and damage the ecosystem with its oils and contaminates.. If you do an areal search over the keys back country, you will find MILES and MILES of lines that have been carved out by ignorant boaters for the past decade or two. With a jet ski, if you run aground you cant push yourself out of it..where as a boat operator simple gives it more gas when he gets stuck.. Its total bull shit and has ZERO legitimate reasons to say they cause damage to the environment. Just like religion and wars, its all a racket and nothing is like it appears...

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    Sea-Donkey's Avatar
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    That's awesome that you went, Billy. This has an impact on us all, even if most don't ride these areas. Just like the boaters being concerned that "we'll be next", banning PWC anywhere is a slippery slope. It could snowball and next thing you know PWC's can't be ridden on ANY public water...better have a private lake to ride circles in!

    On behalf of myself and the ~70 people that have viewed this and said nothing, I'd like to say a huge thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. There is no question that your presence and conversations at the meeting had a positive impact.
    And although I can't say "I am that guy", I can say "I know that guy!" Thanks again man.

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  8. #6
    They are banned in most of the back country in the Florida Keys, but it was all bogus and really implemented by a few officials that just didnt like them. Sorta like jew fish...

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    Sea-Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83Gator View Post
    Is your input important? YES! Follow the link - http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentF...cumentID=51620 - and let the NPS know how you feel. Your opinions matter and will be regarded before any final ruling is made. Public comment at the above link will be open until 12.15.13

    PS: Did I ask you to follow the link and comment? Please do!
    Will do, but I'm working on what my comment will be...I see from this page that there are several "alternatives" posted in PDF format. We should review those and mention in our comment which is our "vote", correct? http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document...cumentID=51620

  10. #8
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea-Donkey View Post
    That's awesome that you went, Billy. This has an impact on us all, even if most don't ride these areas. Just like the boaters being concerned that "we'll be next", banning PWC anywhere is a slippery slope. It could snowball and next thing you know PWC's can't be ridden on ANY public water...better have a private lake to ride circles in!

    On behalf of myself and the ~70 people that have viewed this and said nothing, I'd like to say a huge thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. There is no question that your presence and conversations at the meeting had a positive impact.
    And although I can't say "I am that guy", I can say "I know that guy!" Thanks again man.
    I totally agree!

  11. #9
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Guys, you're welcome and thanks for your confidence in me - but most importantly - thanks to you for addressing this matter. A lot of lookers on this thread but not many posters. Rest assured, if the "Envioros" had there way and banned PWCs from the GUIS, any county, state, fed or nat'l park could be next. We do not need a precedent set. Please comment - when mine is made, I will post it here.

    "I see from this page that there are several "alternatives" posted in PDF format. We should review those and mention in our comment which is our "vote", correct?http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document...cumentID=51620" - SeaDonkey

    Yes, Wade. At the above link is basically the same info that was displayed at last night's meeting. Alternative A, of course, is a total ban and is the worst case scenario for us. Discussing the issue w/a PWIA rep, they are pushing for Alternative B - "Manage PWC Use Similar to Other Watercraft" - basically the rules that are in place now, plus any other rules that also affect all motorized vessels. I will comment in favor of Alternative B.

  12. #10
    Sea-Donkey's Avatar
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    BTW, if you're wondering about the "I am that guy" in my post...Gator had someone at the meeting ask him "you know that guy?" regarding pwctrailfinder.com. Ha.

    OK: EDIT...the below was posted before I read Gator's explanation as we were posting at the same time. So I'll leave my little breakdown but I see that we agree B is what we recommend.

    So, regarding the "alternatives" presented and added to the nps site. I see them in this order as far as what we'd rather:

    B: same restrictions as boats
    C: same restrictions as currently
    D: established areas to beach PWC's
    E: areas with underwater vegetation off limits
    A: complete ban within the park boundaries

    I'm not sure of the order on D & E without knowing exactly how the verbage about underwater plant life affects things.

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