Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Pictured Rocks NLAbout the Park

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hugs the southern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for more than 40 miles between the communities of Munising (west) and Grand Marais (east).  While named for its multicolored sandstone cliffs, the ecological features of the park reach far beyond these visually spectacular geological formations.  Beaches, sand dunes, wetlands, and inland ponds are common throughout the Lakeshore.  In addition, because of its location within the transition zone between the boreal and eastern deciduous forest biomes, the Lakeshore has elements of both hardwood and coniferous forest types.  The cold maritime climate along the shore of Lake Superior greatly influences physical conditions and hence the biotic communities present in these ecosystems.  Global Climate Change will impact Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s different ecosystems to varying degrees. The major impact on Pictured Rocks is that lake levels and temperatures will likely vary significantly from historical averages, which, due to the essential role that Lake Superior plays in the surrounding ecosystems, could greatly impair or alter species’ habitats. 

Emissions Profile

IIn 2006, Pictured Rocks National Lakshore’s GHG emissions totaled 281 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE).  Pictured Rock’s largest emission sector was Transportation, which totaled 252 MTCE. 

The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2006 broken down into sectors:

PIRO Emissions Profile


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is committed to reducing GHG emissions from operations to 15% below 2006 levels by the year 2012 by implementing emission mitigation actions identified by the Park.

Example Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Planned Actions

Planned actions fall under 2 strategies.  These strategies and specific examples of actions include:

1) Reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from park facilities and operations

  • Reduce vehicle fleet by five vehicles within the next five years by removing high-maintenance vehicles.
  • Coordinate with Apostle Islands NL to determine the best available technologies for replacement boats.
  • Establish an improved intra-park commuting scheduling program to allow park staff to commute to park locations more efficiently.
  • Limit generator use at Grand Marais and consider installing a photovoltaic system to meet energy demand.
  • Investigate replacing out Little Beaver Lake boating generators with photovoltaic system or other powered charging station that will charge batteries for electric boats.

2) Increase Climate Change Education and Outreach

  • Develop mandatory climate change training for all staff.
  • Ensure that all staff have the appropriate training to share information about climate friendly park features (e.g. climate change messaging on ALTRAN Shuttle). 
  • Encourage all staff to participate in Do Your Part!
  • Work with partners to develop an internship program intended to support necessary data collection and education and outreach.
  • Incorporate climate change messaging into existing interpretive programs where appropriate.

To read more about what we are doing at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore about Climate Change with Climate Friendly Parks, check out our Action Plan