Michigan couple wins appeal, can use boat on remote lake

Posted at 7:48 AM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 07:48:37-04

Property owners at a remote Upper Peninsula lake have defeated the federal government and won the right to use a powerboat.

In a 2-1 decision Wednesday, a federal appeals court says Dave and Pamela Herr are entitled to reasonable use of Crooked Lake because they are lakefront owners.

The court says Michigan law allows property owners like the Herrs to use all of a lake.

In 2013, the U.S. Forest Service said it would enforce boat restrictions on 95 percent of the lake, which is part of a designated wilderness area. Crooked Lake is near Watersmeet in Gogebic (go-GEY'-bic) County.

In dissent, Judge Bernice Donald says the Forest Service restrictions on gas-powered boats are "certainly reasonable" to preserve the character of the Sylvania Wilderness area.