(Photo by Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT/Sipa USA)

40K Sign Petition To Reverse Alcohol Ban On 3 Michigan Rivers

February 12, 2019 - 10:23 am

(WWJ) Those who want to drink while fishing or tubing are not giving up without a fight. \

Update: Officials Delay Alcohol Ban On 3 Northern Michigan Rivers

As of Tuesday morning, more than 40,100 people had signed a Change.org petition asking that a new law (Order no. 09-04-19-01) banning beer and booze on three popular Michigan rivers be reversed.

Last week, the Huron-Manistee National Forest Service announced that alcohol is now prohibited on the AuSable, Manistee and Pine Rivers.

While the creators of the petition claim the ban will hurt local economies, the service says drinkers are disturbing the wildlife habitat -- and causing other problems. 

"To put it politely, we've seen a lot of issues ranging from dangerous behavior on the water to public urination, nudity, trespass, and a number of other issues that have damaged the water systems themselves and put people's safety at risk," Nate Peeters, public affairs officer for the National Forest, told WWJ's Beth Fisher.

The ban runs from the Friday before Memorial Day to Labor Day; this year from May 24 to September 2. During that timeframe, you cannot have alcohol on or within 200 feet of the:

  • AuSable River between Mio Dam Pond and 4001 Canoe Landing
  • Manistee River between Tippy Dam and the Huron-Manistee National Forests' Administrative Boundary
  • Pine River between Elm Flats and Low Bridge


Anyone who violates the order could face fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison. The ban does not apply to private land, developed campgrounds or designated campsites. Learn more about the petition here.