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About the Cheboygan River Preservation Association

Mission Statement

​The Cheboygan River Preservation Association is committed to the conservation, protection, effective management, respectful use and enjoyment of the Cheboygan River and its watershed for current and future generations.


Dave Ripper and Blair Headrick, along with their families, are property owners along the Cheboygan River. In the fall of 2015, after another season of endless no-wake violations, they decided something had to be done.  After many years of concerns, complaints, and anxiety, they spoke with a hand-full of other distressed Cheboygan River property owners. After hearing most people express the same concerns, they decided to create the Cheboygan River Preservation Association (CRPA).  They felt it was time to offer their leadership to unite fellow riverfront property owners and other concerned citizens to have an impactful voice to discuss common concerns, including the need to help improve the tranquility of the river environment and help sustain such for current and future generations, with the proper responsible people and organizations.

While they are interested in protecting all aspects of the Cheboygan River and its watershed, they believe water safety is a top priority - safety not only for everyone and their families as boaters, swimmers, and kayakers, but also safety for wildlife including the shoreline habitat that erodes with every waking “roller” from uncaring and/or unknowing boaters.

They have been working in concert with the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department Outdoor Division (which includes the Marine team), as well as the DNR, and will continue to do so.  Their discussions and meetings have been very positive and everyone is on board to help reduce these violations.  You may have noticed the patrols not only the Marine Division, but also the DNR and USCG.  Additionally, working with the DNR and USCG, Dave and Blair have placed official No-Wake buoys on the river, two early on and a third more recently.  These also aid in helping reduce violations through enhanced awareness of no-wake laws and by eliminating excuses by violators that they are unaware of such.

So, because of the obvious issues of common concern, they along with the CRPA Board and volunteer members are taking much time and expending considerable effort on behalf of the river property owners and greater River community to maintain and advance the Cheboygan River Preservation Association.  They are very hopeful that through positive, cooperative, and proactive efforts, all will continue to benefit from the Association.  They are confident that, over time, membership and participation will grow as people see the benefit of the CRPA.  Finally, they are also optimistic that people will enjoy interacting with and getting to know others in their beautiful Cheboygan River community!



  • Sent mailings to River residents, soliciting feedback on what seemed, and was later validated, to be shared safety and environmental concerns.

  • Contacted various public officials regarding concerns including excessive and apparently increasing No Wake law violations.

  • Founded the CRPA in late 2015.

  • Conferenced with Cheboygan County Sheriff, Outdoor / Marine Division (Sgt. Kennedy), expressing concerns and offering recommendations.


  • Sent multiple mailings and held CRPA August member meeting, soliciting interests from Cheboygan River residents / CRPA members.

  • Held meetings with Sgt. Kennedy and DNR, voicing concerns over, and offering ideas to enhance the river environment, safety, and tranquility.

  • Obtained DNR approval for, donated, installed and maintained official No Wake lighted buoys.

  • Worked with Sgt Kennedy and redesigned new Slow No Wake signs.

  • Designed a Waterway Informational pamphlet for use by the Cheboygan River hotels to educate their guests on the Inland Waterway.

  • Initiated CRPA Facebook group and designed and created CRPA website

  • Obtained and assessed relevant F.O.I.A. statistics - DNR and Cheboygan Sheriff.

  • Heightened awareness of river needs, especially No Wake enforcement and safety.


  • Grew C.R.P.A. membership and garnered continued community support.

  • Obtained support from the State DNR Law Enforcement, Chief Hagler.

  • Conferenced with and gained support by Lt. Gorno, Gaylord DNR Office.

  • Conferenced with and gained support by BMCS Babione, USCG St. Ignace Office.

  • Held a follow-up discussion with BMCS Babione concerning possible addition of pilings/day beacons north of Moonlight Bay area.

  • Held April Annual Member Meeting, with guests Sheriff Clarmont, Sgt Kennedy and newly appointed DNR Sergeant, Sgt. DePew.

  • Reached a consensus to work together to positively "Move The Needle".

  • Obtained commitment for new No Wake sign funding from Sheriff Clarmont.

  • Awarded Appreciation Certificates to guests, and to Lisa Kelso - Pier 33 Manager, for her providing our meeting location.

  • Printed and distributed Waterway Informational pamphlets that included No Wake laws information, to hotel owners for their boating guests.

  • Provided lunch for kids attending Cheboygan Marine Division's Boater Safety Class, in cooperation with Sgt. Kennedy.

  • Posted new No Wake signs (Lincoln Street launch, pilings at Black River, Fleetwood Inn docks, piling at the mouth of river in Mullett Lake) more to be installed in 2018.

  • Retrofitted old No Wake signs to the new design. - new laminate displays No Wake for "Entire Cheboygan River" vs. the old " No Wake Zone." (The Forks launch, Pier 33 dock).

  • Promoted the CRPA's mission through appearances in multiple news articles and a TV news interview - enjoyed wide distribution and viewership.

  • Appeared and participated in Cheboygan's Fourth of July Parade - handed out flyers and candy of course!

  • Held October Member Meeting, where we elected Officers and Board members and discussed planning for a fun member event for Spring 2018.

  • Requested and received F.O.I.A. data for the 2017 season; reviewed with Sgt. Kennedy - noted significant progress, that also validated CRPA's concerns.

  • Heightened awareness for the need to improve river tranquility and safety.

  • Noted enhanced patrols by the Cheboygan Sheriff Marine Division, the DNR, and USCG - started to "Move the Needle".


  • Received 2017 Cheboygan Sheriff Marine Division statistics for the 2017 and noted a significant increase in patrols and boater interactions.

  • Planning started for a Spring CRPA Member Picnic.

  • Donated to the Cheboygan Marine Division's Boater Safety Class, in cooperation with Sgt. Kennedy, to cover lunch for all the kids taking the course.

  • Planning started for installation of more No Wake signs, with promise of additional funding from the Cheboygan County Sheriff Marine Division.

  • Plans made to meet with DNR Lt. Gorno and Sgt. DePew to discuss 2018.

  • Planning started to add a third DNR approved lighted No Wake buoy.

  • Reached out to the Michigan State Police inquiring about their marine patrols.

  • Reached out to the DNR, DEQ, USACE about dredging the mouth of the river to help with water levels.


  • Received 2018 Cheboygan Marine Division statistics for the 2018 season.

  • Placed the two approved No Wake buoys on the river in the Spring.

  • Donated lunch for the Marine Division's Boater Safety Class in cooperation with Sgt. Kennedy.

  • Worked closely with Law Enforcement to ensure the safety of boaters on the river

  • Installed more No Wake Signs along the river to help promote the Law of the river.

  • Got approval to place a third No Wake buoy from the DNR.

  • Participate in the Cheboygan 4th of July Parade. Handed out candy and flyers.

  • Had an informal meeting with Sgt. Kennedy at seasons end.


  • Received the 2019 Cheboygan Marine statistics for the 2019 season.

  • Placed the two approved No Wake buoys on the river.

  • Installed 2 more No Wake signs at a strategic spot along the waterway.

  • Had an initial meeting with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council regarding a new multi-year study.

  • Received a new updated mailing list for a new mailing to Riverfront property owners – and sent mailing.

  • Increased membership via new members.


  • Received the 2020 Cheboygan Marine Patrol statistics for the 2020 season.

  • Participated in the Annual 4th of July Parade.

  • Held the CRPA Annual Member Picnic.


  • Introduced the CRPA to Sgt. Earl Manuel, Cheboygan County Sheriff Recreation and Enforcement and garnered his support for the CRPA.

  • Held the annual CRPA Member Meeting.

  • Placed four new “mini” yellow No Wake signs on some river pilings.

  • Participated in the Annual 4th of July Parade.

  • Held the Annual CRPA Family Picnic.


  • Held the annual CRPA Member Meeting.

  • Participated in the Annual 4th of July Parade.

  • Purchased additional large Slow No Wake Signs.

  • Placed a new double-sided Slow No Wake sign at the Forks boat launch.

  • Placed two “mini” yellow Slow No Wake signs by the Forks docks.

  • Put in third No Wake Lighted buoy.

  • Held the Annual CRPA Family Picnic.

  • Created new / revised CRPA website.


  • Excited for more progress on our mission.

Thank You Board of Directors, Members and Supporters

Your generous support is vital to the conservation, protection, effective management, respectful use and enjoyment of the Cheboygan River and its watershed for current and future generations.

Board of Directors

  • David Ripper - Co-Founder, President

  • Blair Headrick - Co-Founder, Vice President

  • Kimberly Ripper - Secretary

  • Sandra Headrick - New Member Chairperson

  • Steve Wood - Director

  • Andrea Henderson - Director


  • Janet Cavanaugh

  • Blair and Sandra Marie Headrick

  • David and Kim Ripper

  • David and Patricia Hubbard

  • Mike and Pam Collins

  • Dennis and Linda Wells

  • Walstrom Marine, LLC

Honorary Sponsors

  • Pier 33 On The Cheboygan

  • Quality Banner Company

  • Mary Weiss

  • Eric Wood, CRPA Official Unicyclist

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