Personal Watercraft Closure

Blue Mesa Reservoir has been closed to Personal Watercraft (PWC, Jetski, Wave Runner) use since November 7, 2002, as a result of a court ordered settlement between the National Park Service and Bluewater Network.

The evaluation of PWC use began in 1998 when the NPS published a proposed regulation to eliminate PWC use in most units of the national park system. In March 2000, a nation-wide ruling was issued prohibiting PWC use in national park areas unless they were determined appropriate for use in a specific park area. PWC’s were banned in 66 out of the 87 national park sites that allowed motorized boating. The final rule allowed continued PWC use in 21 specially designated park units, including Curecanti. With pressure from the Bluewater Network, however, the NPS is required to have specific regulations allowing for the continued use of PWC’s. Bluewater Network is the national environmental organization that sued the NPS challenging implementation of PWC regulations in August 2000.

Personal Watercraft Ruling
As of September 21, 2006, Personal Watercraft are again permitted on Blue Mesa Reservoir under special regulations published in the Federal Register. Specific rules were established to determine allowed areas and flat-wake areas. The entire ruling is published below.

Published Final Ruling (September 2006, 92k pdf)

Finding of No Significant Impact (June 2006, 603k pdf)

Curecanti Proposed PWC Rule (March 2006, 123k pdf)

Economic Analysis of Management Alternatives (July 2003, 815k pdf)

Environmental Assessment (April 2003, 4.41MB pdf)

Environmental Assessment Summary (April 2003, 213k pdf)

Last updated: November 27, 2017

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