Enhanced law enforcement patrols are planned at Torch Lake again this year during the Fouth of July holiday.
The Torch Lake Protection Alliance (TLPA) won a lawsuit in 2016 against Beatbox Beverages and other promoters barring them from throwing sandbar parties on Torch Lake. "As a result of last year’s court-ordered injunction, the Torch Lake sandbar saw considerably less party-goers and in turn, considerably less noise, trespass, sanitation concerns, disorderly conduct, trash and pollution," TLPA said in a statement. "This year, there has also been a renewed commitment from the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department to monitor the sandbar with significant law enforcement presence."
According to Sheriff Patrick Whiteford, his department will join the Antrim County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Parks and Recreation Divisions to provide staffing at the same level as last year in the area of the Torch Lake sandbar. “We feel that our increased staffing in conjunction with the efforts of TLPA created a positive impact during the 2016 holiday," Whiteford says. "It is our intent to give the same attention to this area again this year. We encourage visitors to enjoy Torch Lake, but caution them to be respectful of private and public property and be conscientious and environmentally friendly to ensure the beauty of Torch Lake for future generations."
Both private and public resources will be applied toward trash and sanitation controls and water quality testing, if necessary, according to TLPA. The organization also sent letters to local transportation companies requesting that they not promote or offer rides to the lake for those hoping to be a part of a “sandbar bash” as in years past. “The goal is to have a safe and enjoyable holiday for everyone, protecting water quality and respecting property rights both in and off the water,” says TLPA President Sue Kelly.
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City