The U.S. Forest Service will not close a popular party spot on the Pine River. It’s a 160-foot sandy bank, located between Cadillac and Manistee, that draws scores of paddlers each year. Forest officials instead will try to stabilize the bank by laying down branches on the edges of it.
Officials worry the heavy summer traffic is causing erosion on the bank and sending sediment into the blue-ribbon trout stream. Sand can harm trout populations.
District Ranger Jim Thompson says the branches will be placed along the edges of the bank over the summer.
“We’re hoping over time that we’ll stabilize some of the edges and reduce human use in that area,” Thompson says. “We’ll monitor that for a few years to see how that works.”
The U.S. Forest Service could bring in larger trees by helicopter if the branches do not stabilize the bank.
Thompson says paddlers will still be able to climb the bank, as the center of the slope will be open. He also encourages people not to go to the top.
“You can still get a good view and not go all the way up to the top,” Thompson says.