The campaign aims to curb intoxicating activities on Michigan rivers

The campaign aims to curb intoxicating activities on Michigan rivers

Wild and Scenic Consumables at Stop Davis Rest in Oscoda County. (Photo: Courtesy of Huron-Manistee National Forest Services) t

A group of business owners, government leaders and field enthusiasts launched a campaign this week which focused on mysterious behavior prevention and prevention of alcohol prevention on Au Sable, Manistee and Pine Michigan rivers.

"It's just (because of being) to be familiar with your fellow citizens while enjoying the resources," said Jeffrey Dontz, commissioner of Manistee County and member of the group. "We can't be drunk, let up after ourselves. It's been a good steward of the resources."

The campaign includes posters with sayings such as "Sober Fan Till Your Visit" and distribution of mesh bags people can use to collect their rubbish.

The The US Forest Service announced in February that it was preventing alcohol this year on parts of the three rivers that run through the Huron-Manistee National Forests in the northern Lowlands due to public safety concerns and litter. . Swift backlash continued.

Days later, the Forest Service said that it would delay the ban until at least 2020 to explore community alternatives.

Dontz said that around 18 people set up and started meeting in March to discuss a plan. The campaign they have created aims to train people about responsible river use. Public service video notice recorded. Posters encouraging responsible behavior along the rivers will be erected, and river cleansing is planned.

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In addition, Forest Service staff will provide mesh bags that can be used by people for their litter when fishing or canoeing.

"We are bringing them out to try to keep the rivers clean," said Nate Peeters, a public affairs official for Huron-Manistee National Forests. "We will be on site at the weekend landings to distribute these bags."

Peeters and Dontz said that the community group, including Forest Service officials, would meet again in the fall to evaluate the success of the campaign.

The idea of ​​alcohol prevention encouraged concern about lost income from a number of local businesses. Dontz said that he was mostly concerned about alcohol being a prohibited thing.

"I do not stand up to wild and crazy behavior on the river," he said, but at the same time, "I do not want the legal substance of alcohol to get illegal possession because of the border side you are (on ), and becomes a federal offense.

Wild Pain and Scenic River (Photo: Courtesy of Huron-Manistee National Forest Services) t

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"If you had written a valuation, you will go before a federal judge. We have lots of laws on the books to deal with this. There are only local laws to enforce. We don't have to do it in a federal crime."

While officials are doing well this summer, alcohol is not banned.

"We see the ban on alcohol as a last resort," Peeters said. "We are going out every other option before we go down that way. If this approach is not successful, that is something we would like to consider."

He said: "We are obliged under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to conserve these rivers and their significant values ​​for future generations."

Contact Ann Zaniewski: 313-222-6594 ​​or azaniewski@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski.

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