Join forces, ensure lake is available for future generations
The letters written by Ms. Stephens and Mr. Schreck (Resorter, March 22) regarding Senate Bill 778 are misleading. The bill is less than one page long, and simply ensures that the water at public road ends in Michigan is unobstructed so everyone can use it. That encourages, not hinders, tourism. The bill does not forbid mooring or anchoring except between midnight and sunrise. It is not privatization, as these are public waters. It does not affect local governments, because Michigan holds the water in trust for the public and has the legal authority to manage it.
The road ends at Higgins Lake have all been litigated. The bill was created to avoid litigation elsewhere. It bans private docks and boat hoists or mooring overnight, because those things take public property (the water) for personal use, and really are privatization. It also agrees with all of the circuit, appellate and supreme court rulings, the attorney general’s opinion and the positions of the state agencies responsible for the water.
SB 778 was passed by the Senate and House by far more than the 67% required for immediate effect. It was approved by the Governor and assigned a Public Act number by the Secretary of State on March 23. It is the legislative solution requested by the courts.
Last, no matter what side of the issue you favor, we all enjoy the lake. We need to protect its environmental health. An opportunity now exists to join forces with others to do that and ensure that the lake is available for future generations to enjoy. I truly hope that happens.