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Man Convicted for Creating New Channel in Lake Michigan

via TODAY
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Andrew Howard of Frankfort, Michigan, has been convicted of misdemeanors for diverting a national park river to improve boat access to Lake Michigan.

The incident occurred after a National Park Service ranger observed Howard using a shovel to redirect the Platte River into the Great Lakes.

“Within days, the natural power of the water and the constructed dam caused the river to divert and created a new channel to Lake Michigan that grew to approximately 200 feet wide,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Biksacky said.

This action led to the creation of a new channel, increasing boat access and attracting more fishermen.

Howard’s attorney has not commented on the matter, and U.S. Attorney Mark Totten stated that Howard took matters into his own hands due to a policy dispute with the National Park Service.

“It stayed approximately that wide for the summer and fall season,” Biksacky added. “There was then an influx in the number of fishermen that came to Platte River boat launch to take advantage of the favorable conditions of access created by the new channel.”

The situation has sparked debates about the impact of the river diversion, with some arguing for increased boat access and others highlighting safety concerns related to the river’s shallowness.

“It would be nice for a rescue boat to be able to get out there in a timely fashion,” Riverside Canoe Trips owner Kyle Orr said.

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