Many of us remember our younger days when you and your friends went out on a hot summer day on a Michigan river and let us say partook in a few beers.

Oh, I remember those carefree days.

Well those days are now gone, at least legally, when it comes to the National Wild and Scenic River sections of the AuSable, Manistee, and Pine Rivers.

I remember canoeing down the AuSable and making sure someone was in charge of not letting the cooler fall out of the canoe and into the river.

Mlive is reporting that the Huron-Manistee National Forests announced their decision on Wednesday.  Leslie Auriemmo, the Huron-Manistee National Forests Supervisor was quoted in that article stating:

The closure order is intended to address persistent public safety issues and protect natural resources on rivers of outstanding recreational value...Our goal is to create a safer, more sustainable, and more enjoyable experience for the thousands of visitors who recreate on our National Wild and Scenic Rivers each year...Our National Wild and Scenic Rivers provide ample fresh water, critical fish and wildlife habitat, and family-friendly recreational opportunities...The Huron-Manistee National Forests are obligated to ensure that present and future generations can safely enjoy those benefits.

That is a whole lot of words to say you just cannot drink on those sections of the rivers.

Their order will remain in effect from May 24 to September 2.

What part of the rivers will be affected?   They say it will consist not only for being on the river but 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.

You must know that private lands, developed campgrounds, and designated campsites within those river corridors will not be affected.

What will it cost you if you get caught?  If they find you drinking in the no drinking areas it is punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.

Prison, really?