With the creation of the Lakeshore in 1970, a large number of private in-holdings were acquired or scheduled for acquisition over the ensuing 40 years. As the in-holdings have been acquired, a steady and very successful effort has been undertaken to restore the former homesites to natural conditions and to completely remove the human impacts from the land. This effort has allowed for large, contiguous areas of wildlife habitat to be restored, for the shorelines of entire inland lakes to be protected, and for former dump sites and agricultural areas to be returned to a healthy northern hardwood forest overstory. All man-made items are removed from each homesite including the home and foundation, the out-buildings, and the septic systems and wells. Typically the areas are also landscaped back to the original contours which results in a natural appearing site with restored hydrology. The imported clays and gravels used in the access roads are removed so that native tree seedlings can become established in the sandy soils. As the area around the Lakeshore continues to be developed and sub-divided, the importance of protecting the large blocks of habitat within becomes even more important.
Did You Know?
There are 21 inland lakes within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Explore one of these small lakes for a close-up view of some of the birds, mammals, and wildflowers protected there. By the way, the fishing is usually great! More...