More than 33K sign petition to stop ban of alcohol on Michigan rivers

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

A petition has accumulated more than 33,000 signatures to reverse a ban on alcohol on three popular Michigan rivers. 

The National Forest Service announced last week that alcohol will be prohibited on the following Michigan rivers within the Huron-Manistee National Forests:

  • AuSable
  • Manistee
  • Pine

Between May 24 and Sept. 2, alcohol will be banned on portions of the rivers and within 200 feet of the rivers. Violators could be fined up to $5,000 or face 5 years in prison.

The Forest Service said pollution, disturbing fish/wildlife habitat and more people using the areas are the main reasons for putting this into action. The order doesn't apply to private land or designated campgrounds.

The petition calls for a reversal of the announced rule and punishment. The creators claim the ban will hurt local economies.

"This ban will have a devastating effect on local economies and businesses. It’s not only the liveries that will suffer; outfitters, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, bars, hardware stores and others will suffer greatly. If businesses close, jobs will be lost and the tax base will be lowered - this will effect senior services, schools, parks, and other city services. Families are already canceling their summer reservations in the affected towns."

More on the petition here.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.