SALEM – After recurring issues and complaints, a 90-day ban on alcohol has been put in place at Gardner Lake State Park.
According to Robert Klee, commissioner of the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the temporary ban will go into effect Saturday and will last until Columbus Day weekend in October.
“I have exercised my authority to declare a 90-day ban on alcohol at Gardner Lake State Park because large numbers of people consuming large volumes of alcohol there is not a combination conducive to public safety and enjoyment of our state’s natural resources,” Klee said in a statement Thursday. “The ban I have issued means no alcohol at Gardner Lake State Park and State Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police officers from this agency will enforce this ban. We also appreciate the offer of local law enforcement to support this new policy.”
State DEEP Communications Director Dennis Schain clarified that alcohol is banned at all state beaches. The new temporary ban at Gardner, however, will expand this rule outside of the beach to include the entire park. Alcohol may be possessed in the boat launch area but only if it is being transferred between boats and cars. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the boat launch area per preexisting state boat launch rules, Schain said.
“People are allowed to drink on the lake in their boat,” Schain said. “But of course we always encourage people to be responsible.”
Minnie Island, the state’s smallest park, sits in the middle of Gardner Lake. Alcohol is not banned on Minnie Island, Schain said.
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