Senator VanderWall offered the following resolution:
Senate Resolution No. 12.
A resolution to urge the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service to reverse its recent order banning the use of alcohol on and within 200 feet of the shoreline of the National Wild and Scenic River sections of the AuSable, Manistee, and Pine rivers.
Whereas, Over 12,000 miles of rivers and streams are protected by the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. These waters are considered to have remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, or other similar values and are managed to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities to the public. Three of Michigan's designated National and Wild Scenic Rivers are located in the Huron-Manistee National Forest and managed by the National Forest Service (NFS); and
Whereas, The NFS recently banned the use of alcohol within 200 feet of the water and on all sections of the AuSable, Manistee, and Pine rivers located within the national forest. The NFS states that pollution related to drinking and disruption of fish and wildlife habitat are the reasons for the ban; and
Whereas, The federal ban is overreaching and redundant. Current Michigan law governs river health, boater safety, and littering of our waterways. Additionally, current NFS policy suggests a limited number of canned beverages per river user. The problem is not drinking on these waters, but the proper disposal of containers and irresponsible use. Rather than ban a legal, adult activity, the federal government should allow Michigan to enforce our laws; and
Whereas, The federal action will hurt Michigan tourism. Many Michigan residents and visitors from other states enjoy a leisurely paddle on the waters of this state and contribute more than $140 million to Michigan's economy. A ban on alcohol will detract from this experience for many paddlers who may then find a different way to spend a hot Michigan summer's day than on the water; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we urge the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service to reverse its recent order banning the use of alcohol on and within 200 feet of the shoreline of the National Wild and Scenic River sections of the AuSable, Manistee, and Pine rivers; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.