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E-M:/ Pictured Rocks PWC use Environmental Assesment



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from John Rebers ------------------------------------------------------------------------- From the Pictured Rocks web site:
Release Date: 08/11/02
Contact Name: Superintendent Karen Gustin 906-387-2607
PWC Environmental Assessment Now On-Line
The Final Draft of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for Personal Watercraft (PWC) Use at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is now available for public review and comment. The EA evaluates a range of alternatives and strategies for the management of PWC use at Pictured Rocks in order to ensure the protection of park resources and values while offering recreational opportunities as provided for in the national lakeshore's enabling legislation.
The EA is available on-line (in PDF format) at http://www.nps.gov/piro/pwc_ea.htm.
We are interested in your comments. Your comments may be sent in writing to Superintendent, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, PO Box 40, Munising, MI 49862-0040 or by email to piro_pwc@nps.gov. The public comment period will open August 1 and close November 15, 2002.

The environmental assessment is actually available in either pdf or Word formats.

Some questions you might want to consider in preparing comments are below. Please write! Your comments can make a difference.

Geekspeek:
EA = environmental assessment
PWC = personal watercraft (aka jetski, aka various epithets...)
 
1)  The EA estimates a peak usage of 13 PWC/day.

a. Have you observed groups of PWCs in Pictured Rocks? How many and where?

b. Have you observed any PWCs in the eastern waters (12 Mile Beach and Grand Marais? EA assumes use in this area is rare.

c. Do you feel that the assessment of peak use is realistic?

2)  EA assumes nearly all PWC riders comply with state regulations on PWC use, and that most violations of these regulations are reported to the park.

a.  Have you observed any violations of the following regulations?

        Timing restrictions: Personal watercraft can only be used between 8:00 A.M. and one hour before sunset.

        Age restrictions: Children 7 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian; children under the age of 12 cannot operate personal watercraft; children between 12 and 14 may operate personal watercraft if they have a boating safety certificate, etc.

        Wake restrictions: PWC operation on Lake Superior cannot occur within 200 feet of the shore unless operating at a slow, no-wake speed and traveling perpendicular to the shore.

        Location restrictions: PWC operation on Lake Superior cannot occur within 200 feet of the shore unless operating at a slow, no-wake speed and traveling perpendicular to the shore.

        Depth restrictions: Personal watercraft cannot be operated within 200 feet of the shore unless operating at a slow, no-wake speed and traveling perpendicular to the shore.

        Dangerous behavior: Personal watercraft cannot be operated within 150 feet of other watercraft, and users are required to observe restrictions related to speed, wake jumping, and other actions, which would be enforced per state regulations.

b.      Did you report those violations to the park service? If you did not report such violations earlier, it would be useful to do so as part of your comments about the environmental assessment.

3)      When considering the effect of continued PWC use under alternatives A and B, the EA states that the impact to those seeking a quiet visitor experience would be short term and minor, because PWC use would not be constant throughout the day and because the enjoyment of the typical visitor experiences in the area would not be compromised. Do you agree with this conclusion?

4)      Have you observed any interactions between PWC users in Pictured Rocks and wildlife, particularly bald eagles, loons, or peregrine falcons?

John Rebers
Department of Biology, Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI 49855
906-227-1585; 906-227-1063 (FAX) =============================================================ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/ Postings to: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net For info, send email to majordomo@great-lakes.net with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich" =============================================================