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Allegany official says Md. state forest alcohol ban hurting tourism

April 26, 2010

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) -- Allegany County's tourism director says a ban on alcohol in state forest campgrounds is prompting some people to go elsewhere for outdoor fun.

Barbara Buehl said Monday that a group of up to 40 people plans to hold its annual outing elsewhere if they can't drink beer around a campfire in a Maryland state forest.

The Department of Natural Resources says it is formulating a response to western Maryland lawmakers who asked the agency in March to suspend the ban and hold a public hearing.

The ban took effect in November with little public notice about seven months after the DNR implemented a heavily publicized ban on alcohol in state parks.

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The policy allows drinking only in pavilions by groups that have obtained a state permit.

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