Lawmakers Applaud Decision to Delay Alcohol Ban on Certain Rivers

A controversial ban on alcohol for parts of three popular Northern Michigan rivers is being delayed.

The Huron-Manistee National Forest made waves last week announcing alcohol would be banned on stretches of the Pine, Manistee, and AuSable rivers due to complaints of rowdy behavior and littering.

Backlash sparked almost instantly and within a day, more than 40,000 people signed a petition to do away with the ban.

The forest service announced Tuesday the ban would be delayed to at least 2020.

Local lawmakers applauded the decision.

“She went from ‘oh there’s a problem’ to ‘this drastic measure’ which really could have effect on tourism and all sorts of things,” Representative Jack O’Malley said.

“We already have laws and rules in place to address all the issues that were brought up in that using a 30 pound sledge when you need a 7 ounce tack hammer,” says Representative Tristan Cole.

The forest service says they will create a group to make a plan to improve safety and protect the river’s ecosystem instead of a ban for now.