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Pictured Rocks Publishes Personal Watercraft Final Rule

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Date: October 31, 2005
Contact: Larry Hach, 906-387-2607, ext. 203

The Final Rule on the use of Personal Watercraft (PWC) at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2005. This final rule will allow PWC to operate on the waters of Lake Superior within the boundaries of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from the western boundary of the lakeshore to the east end of Miners Beach.

PWC will be allowed to launch from the designated launch ramp at Sand Point. PWC users will be allowed to beach their craft on Sand Point and Miners Beaches. PWC will not be allowed to launch or operate at any other locations within the national lakeshore.

In compliance with the State of Michigan's Personal Watercraft Safety Act of 1998 (Public Act 116) PWC may not operate within 200 feet of the shoreline unless traveling perpendicular to the shoreline at no-wake speed.

In addition, should it become necessary, the final rule allows the Superintendent to temporarily limit, restrict, or terminate access to the area designated for PWC use after taking into consideration public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

This final rule implements the provisions of the National Park Service (NPS) general regulations that authorize parks to allow the use of PWC by promulgating a special regulation. NPS Management Policies (2001) require individual parks to determine whether PWC use is appropriate for their specific park based on an evaluation of that area's enabling legislation, resources and values, other visitor uses, and overall management objectives.

Over the last several years, the lakeshore staff conducted this analysis, and completed an environmental assessment and the associated proposed rule-making process. This final rule is the culmination of that process.

The final rule may be accessed at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html. Then scroll down to National Park Service. Copies are also available at Park Headquarters or by calling 906-387-2607. The final rule took effect immediately on October 27, 2005.

For further information on these new PWC use regulations at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, contact Chief Ranger Larry Hach at (906) 387-2607.

For more information ...
Personal Watercraft Use Environmental Assessment 
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