Ban has been temporarily delayed - Stop ban of Alcohol on Michigan Rivers

Ban has been temporarily delayed - Stop ban of Alcohol on Michigan Rivers

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Our River started this petition to USDA Forest Supervisor Leslie Auriemmo and

Update 2/12/2019:

Our 53,000+ voices were heard!

“Freedom is when the people can speak; democracy is when the government listens.”

Your stated reasons for signing the petition:

  • Local communities and businesses – Genuine support for our communities and local businesses. A ban like this has been shown to reduce tourism by 70%
  • America – Over reaching government taking away our freedoms
  • Enforce the existing laws
  • Overwhelming love of our river trips – For many, a summer float has been a family and friend tradition for decades.

On 02/12/2019, the federal government announced that they are temporarily delaying the order banning alcohol from our rivers. There will be a ‘working group’ formed and chaired by the forest service consisting of businesses, municipal officials, and private citizens with the intention of identifying and correcting issues on Our Rivers.

This working group has the opportunity to provide an example to the entire country that it is possible for groups with different agendas and concerns to come together and collectively resolve issues. They can insure our beautiful Michigan Rivers are available to everyone and our freedom is protected.

We have decided to keep the petition up and going. We are confident that the working group will formulate a solid plan; however, we want to make sure that our 53,000+ voices are included in the conversation. We have passed along our suggested ideas to the group. We will let you know if there are substantial updates.

See you on Our River!


Original petition:

Repeal the ban on Alcohol in Michigan Rivers. Specifically, ORDER NO. 09-04-19-01, which was signed by Leslie Auriemmo, forest supervisor, on 02/01/2019.

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months!

Order no. 09-04-19-01


Update 2/11/2019: Awesome work everyone. We have over 39,000 signatures!

They haven’t repealed the ban YET.

CALL TO ACTION!! Please post the following to your Facebook page and social media. Share it. Everywhere!

U.S. Federal Government just banned alcohol on Michigan Rivers. Punishable by a $5000.00 fine and up to 6 months in jail!

Are your state’s rivers and lakes next on the list?

“If we do not have the freedom to have a beer while fishing or floating on our waterways, we are not free.”

Please sign this petition to stop the abuse of power and federal government overreach.


Call and email the following: (Please be respectful and civil, this is not personal)

Leslie Auriemmo, USDA Forest supervisor, 
Phone: (231) 775-2421, Email: 

Kathleen Atkinson, Regional Forester of the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service, Phone: (414) 297-3765, Email:

How did we get here?

On 02/02/2019, Leslie Auriemmo, USDA forest supervisor (Phone (231) 775-2421), signed ORDER NO. 09-04-19-01 banning alcohol on the most popular sections of three Michigan rivers and their surrounding areas. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months in jail! The order was released to the press without contacting local businesses, or authorities. There was no public notice, discussion, comment period, or vote. Apparently a single federal bureaucrat has the authority to impose an order of this magnitude.

Why is this happening?

As news of our petition reaches the media, the Government is making up new reasons for the ban every chance they get. Nate Peeters, public affairs officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests, told the news that they have seen “… a number of issues that have damaged the water systems themselves and put people's safety at risk”. This statement is not substantiated with facts or data and is meant to tug at our collective love of our rivers and our environment. People floating on the river are not harming or polluting it. Fishing charters from the Ausable have commented that our rivers are significantly cleaner than in decades past. We are all aware that our actions have consequences, we practice ‘No trace left behind’. Does the Government want to start discussing the actual threats to our rivers such as municipal treatment plant accidents, fisheries, PCBs, Mercury, deforestation or CAFO farming practices? The Government also stated alcohol users are "potentially dangerous to other people and sometimes dangerous to themselves.". Again, vague and non-factual scare tactics. They point out some alleged poor behavior by individuals on the river that “they’ve seen”. Each of these infractions they pointed out already has a LAW to address. Why do we need broad-sweeping new infringements on our freedom rather than just enforcing the laws that already exist? Let the Michigan DNR enforce the laws already on the books. Work on improving infrastructure such as recycle and trash stations, restrooms, etc.

The reality is for about 40 hours a year on the eight Saturdays in July and August (70%+ of yearly livery business) Michiganders and out-of-state tourists flock to our beautiful rivers to spend the day floating down in canoes, kayaks, and tubes for 2-5 hour trips. During these few busy days each year the river is full of people relaxing and enjoying their time with family and friends, and some partake in adult beverages during their float. For many, these trips have been family gatherings for decades. During these busy days if anyone gets out of hand with their drinking, there are already laws in place to deal with them (ie. drunk and disorderly, littering, etc). This is no different than how we manage festivals, local beer tents, concerts etc.

What does this ban hurt?

This ban will have a devastating effect on local economies and businesses. It’s not only the liveries that will suffer; outfitters, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, bars, hardware stores and others will suffer greatly. If businesses close, jobs will be lost and the tax base will be lowered - this will effect senior services, schools, parks, and other city services. Families are already canceling their summer reservations in the affected towns.

Property values in the surrounding communities will be impacted.

Our rights as Americans! A couple of Federal bureaucrats working in Cadillac and Chicago, who are not even native to Michigan, have signed an order to ban alcohol in America. Prohibition was repealed December 5th 1933 with the passage of the 21st amendment. Who are they to take away our rights?

We want to be free Americans and have fun with our friends and family on the river! This aggression will not stand man!

On a personal note: We float the Ausable dozens of times a year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. We’ve been doing this for 35 years. Our children started when they were in diapers, and now continue the tradition as grown adults. Sometimes we go out with the large groups and sometimes we follow behind them. The liveries last drop in is around 2:30 PM. We rarely see any litter, and if we do it’s a rogue flip flop or empty plastic water bottle. We always pick up anything we see. We have never witnessed a fight or anyone getting out of control. When we are in the mix of the larger groups, we see people truly having fun and enjoying themselves. Laughter, fun conversations, and friendly waves with a lot of great people. There are kids swimming, having water fights, and playing. There are young and old, all ethnicities, family reunions, and bachelorette parties. We even know a couple that got married on the river. WE LOVE IT!

News articles and supporters of our cause:

Rep. Cole: Feds overstepped the line with alcohol ban

NBC 25 News


FYI: Funds collected by are not going to ‘Our rivers’. The donations go towards moving the petition up on the site only. 



0 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!
At 75,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!