According to a report from WXYZ-7, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is stopping boaters and forcing them to show identification. If boaters cannot produce IDs showing that they live in the same home, they are fined and forced off the water.
WXYZ-7 reporter Jennifer Ann Wilson announced earlier this week in a Facebook post that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has turned the DNR into a waterway Gestapo of sorts.
“If you’re planning on boating, the governor says you have to take your own boat and only with members of your own household. I actually saw a DNR officer out there checking IDs,”Wilson explained in a Facebook video released on Monday.
“So the officer was going up to people when there were multiple people going into a boat asking to see IDs so he could see if it was the same address on the ID. So just so you know they are taking this seriously and enforcing that you can only go boating with people from your own household,” she added.
While Whitmer has stopped short of banning boating, she has unilaterally enacted a set of restrictions that make it exceptionally difficult for people to enjoy their lives while on the water.
The coronavirus help website set up by the governor’s office explains that “any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a manner consistent with social distancing, and individuals should use only their own equipment to prevent the transmission of the virus through the touching of shared surfaces. Additionally, in accordance with section 2 of the order, persons not part of a single household may not boat together.”
The northern part of Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, has had virtually no coronavirus cases. They are nervous that these Draconian restrictions on boating will devastate the recreation industry that their economy is dependent upon.
“Michigan’s recreational opportunities and outdoor resources bring in tens of millions of dollars every year and are to thank for keeping many of our local economies strong. We need her to inject clarity and common-sense into her orders, especially as we head toward the busiest time of year for recreation,” said Rep. Tristan Cole of Mancelona.
Cole believes that Whitmer’s edicts are going to kill marinas and fishing license sales, which would dry up funding for conservation across the state.
“This is definitely going to hurt the upcoming trout opener and bass fishing weekends,” Cole said. “I’m also worried about the harm it will do to the spring turkey hunting season and the annual forays for the elusive morel mushroom that put thousands of people outdoors every spring,” Cole said.
These blatantly unconstitutional and anti-American measures may become commonplace even after the coronavirus panic has come and gone.