July 10, 2013
Contact: Bruce Rowe
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service has released the draft Environmental Assessment for “Wabash Avenue/Porter Access Site”, and is seeking public comment. Each unit of the national park system is driven by federal enabling legislation and this assessment is needed to ensure the Wabash Avenue project is in harmony with the legislative intent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Environmental Assessment evaluates five possible alternatives in depth. The alternatives addressed include pedestrian circulation, vehicle circulation, visitor facilities and parking options. The alternatives meet park purposes and objectives while protecting park resources and minimizing impacts. All alternatives are consistent with applicable NPS laws, policies, and regulations.
Beginning July 10, 2013, a copy of the Environmental Assessment for the Wabash Avenue/Porter Access Site is available in two different formats. It can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. Also, hardcopies of the document will be available for review at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at Indiana Route 49 and US Highway 20, and at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Headquarters located at 1100 North Mineral Springs Road in Porter, Indiana.
The best way to comment on the Environmental Assessment is to use the electronic form located at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. The comment period closes on August 9, 2013. Comments must be postmarked no later than August 9, 2013. If you cannot use the electronic form you may mail or drop off a hard copy comment form and/or letter to:
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Attention: Eric Ehn, Management Assistant
1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, Indiana 46304-1299
The Environmental Assessment has five alternatives under consideration. The alternatives include a No Action and four levels of modifications for visitor use and development.
Each alternative addresses the potential environmental impacts to the parks: historic structures; cultural landscapes; archeological resources; soils, air, and water quality; vegetation; wildlife and wildlife habitat; sensitive and rare species; recreation resources; visitor use and experience; park operations; and socioeconomic conditions.
The preferred alternative, Alternative 5, would enlarge the south parking lot while restricting the north lot to accessible parking only in the summer. In the off season the south lot would be closed and all visitor use would take place from the north lot. Individual picnic platforms would be built adjacent to parking areas. Alternative 5 is the preferred because it would be consistent with the project goals.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.