National Park Service Seeks Public Comment on Cowles Bog Wetland Complex Restoration
Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service has released the draft Environmental Assessment for "Restoration of Cowles Bog Wetland Complex's Lake Plain Wet-Mesic Prairie for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore", 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 Cowles Bog Wetland Complex restoration is in harmony with the legislative intent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Environmental Assessment evaluates three possible alternatives in depth. The alternatives addressed include restoring wetland hydrology, grading to fill ditches, removal of the tree canopy, and planting native prairie plants now absent from the area. 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 Friday, March 9, a copy of the Environmental Assessment for the Restoration of Cowles Bog Wetland Complex's Lake Plain Wet-Mesic Prairie is available in three different formats. It can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. A CD of the document can be requested by contacting Dan Mason at the address below. Finally, hardcopies of the document will be available for review at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center at 1215 North State Road 49 in Porter, Indiana 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 04/09/2012. Comments must be postmarked no later than 04/09/2012. 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
The Environmental Assessment has three alternatives under consideration. The alternatives are:
Alternative 1: No Action
Did You Know?
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has more than 1,135 native plant species distributed over six plant communities. Among all the national parks in the United States, it ranks seventh in plant diversity. This is an amazing feat for 15,000+ acres.