Although additional research is needed to fully understand the role that fire historically played in the development of the Lakeshore forests, evidence suggests it was not uncommon prior to the settlement of the area. Small, localized burns from Native American burning or lightening strikes during storms may have occurred sporadically, especially in the jack pine and oak stands along the dune edges. Prescribed fires (started and controlled by trained crews) can be a useful tool for maintaining the open field habitats in the historic farmland areas. Lakeshore staff have prepared a detailed document called a Fire Management Plan which defines the actions that will be taken should a wildfire occur and also those specific instances when fire may be used as a management tool. This plan is available under the Management Documents section of the this website.
Did You Know?
The Piping Plover is an endangered species that makes its home on the wide open beaches of Lakes Michigan and Superior. Several nesting pairs have made the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore their home. Their nesting areas have been marked so they will not be disturbed.