Unimpressed with jetboats

  Dear HCN,

I was encouraged by your article on "thrillcraft" since jetboats have increased dramatically in recent years on the Colorado River in the Moab area (HCN, 8/4/97).

After numerous complaints from concerned citizens (mostly swimmers using local beaches), a meeting was held by the Grand County Council. The matter at hand was whether to restrict upstream travel on a particular 10-mile stretch of the Colorado. The Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation has the authority to regulate motorized use and could have done so strictly on a safety basis - motorized watercraft must come to a wakeless speed within 150 feet of any individual or any other vessel. Rarely is this requirement observed. The council elected not to recommend any changes, mainly because of the objections of one commercial rafting company that conducts many motorized trips.

I'm sure there are some considerate people who use their machines in a responsible fashion, but my experience has been just the opposite. It seems logical that the most considerate of individuals would not be attracted to a watercraft whose main purpose is to blast up and down on waterways while spewing out noise and pollution. I hope we can find ways to separate these watercraft from areas where they do the most damage.

Stan Ferris

Moab, Utah
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