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Chickasaw Re-Opens to PWC

September 10, 2004
Filed under Features

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma has again opened Lake of the Arbuckles to personal watercraft (PWC).
Nearly three years after the National Park Service was required by a court settlement to restrict PWC pending the results of scientific studies regarding the vessels’ impact, Chickasaw completed the required environmental assessments and concluded that PWC present “no significant impact,” and are an appropriate boating activity for the National Recreation Area. Of four proposed rules, the park’s preferred alternative welcomes PWC use with reasonable regulations, such as no-use zones within 150 feet of specific picnic areas. A National Park Service (NPS) press release that outlines the full ruling is available online at http://www.nps.gov/chic/pphtml/newsdetail14212.html.
Six additional NPS units already welcome personal watercraft, seven other 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.
“Today another national park that has put personal watercraft to the test has reaffirmed that these boats are among the cleanest and quietest on the water,” said Jeff Ludwig, Regulatory Affairs Manager at the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA). “The ban in 2000 was unreasonable because scientific studies consistently show that modern PWC have no unique impact that justifies singling them out for discriminatory bans.”

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