There’s good news and bad news for environmentalists on the personal-watercraft front. On the up side, the National Park Service announced yesterday that it would permanently close five national parks to personal watercraft. Park officials and much of the general public object to personal watercraft in parks, saying Jet Skis and their ilk disrupt wildlife and are noisy and polluting. In less thrilling news, the Park Service ordered eight other parks to re-open their review processes for banning motorized water scooters, potentially setting the stage for the craft to reappear in those parks in the future. Both decisions came one day before a court hearing in Texas in a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit by the personal-watercraft industry against the government. The suit contends that park administrators imposed bans on motorized water scooters without conducting adequate reviews, and seeks to overturn the prohibitions in virtually all national parks.
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