A man from Michigan has been sentenced with a ban from being on National Park Service property for the duration of his probation (60 months) and ordered to pay $22,472.22 in total restitution after illegally dredging and diverting a the Platte River to ease boat access. UpNorthLive reports 63-year-old Andrew Blair Howard was convicted in February 2024 of two federal misdemeanors for tampering and vandalism at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in connection with an Aug. 15, 2022, diversion of the Platte River.

Back in August, 2022, National Park Service law enforcement officers initiated their investigation of reports of a diversion of the Platte River, near river mouth’s connection to Lake Michigan.

“Evidence at trial showed that on August 15, 2022, Howard used a shovel to dig sediment and rocks from the river basin and stacked large rocks on a dam to divert the river’s natural water flow toward a newly created channel out to Lake Michigan, contrary to a decision by the National Park Service to let the river follow its natural course.”  –U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan

Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks its no big deal to shape public waterways for your own benefit, its not

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