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Idaho Panel Decides Against Rules On Personal Watercraft

A state panel, heavily laden with users of personal watercraft, has decided against adopting any statewide rules covering the use of the increasingly popular craft.

Instead, the task force says the answer is better boater education.

“The overlying factors to most reported conflicts are congestion, lack of consideration for others, and the pitch of the noise emitted by personal watercraft,” reads the summary from the group. “The responsibility to deal with this evolution of recreational boating belongs to all involved.”

The task force had only one person who is not a personal watercraft backer, besides the state Department of Parks and Recreation staff.

The last legislative session passed a law allowing cities and counties to ban the boats on sensitive stretches of rivers and lakes. No local ordinances have yet been passed, said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Golden Linford, R-Rexburg.

Commissioner Roger Christensen said he’d like to see the group reconvene this fall, but nothing likely will be done this boating year. But he isn’t in any hurry to pass any personal watercraft restrictions.

“The reality is, I haven’t been stampeded with complaints,” he said.

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