The U.S. Forest Service is delaying the ban of alcohol on rivers in hopes of working with river going enthusiasts and local communities to address concerns.

Last week rangers at the Huron-Manistee National Forest announced they would be banning alcohol on portions of the AuSable, Manistee and Pine rivers during the summer months. The ban was to address public safety issues and protect the water ways, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Instead of starting the ban in summer 2019, the Forest Service will create a group of small business owners, municipal officials and private citizens in an effort to create a new plan for the rivers.

“Individuals and businesses throughout northern Michigan have expressed strong interest in partnering with the Forest Service to address ongoing public safety and environmental issues on our National Wild and Scenic Rivers,” said Huron-Manistee National Forests Supervisor Leslie Auriemmo. “We welcome a practical, community-driven solution to these challenges.”

The group is expected to have a new plan by May 2019 to help restore safety. If the new plan the group develops does not improve conditions, an alcohol ban could go into effect during the summer of 2020.

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