Ice Caves No Longer Safe
The ice formations in Leelanau Township, north of the park, are no longer safe to visit. High winds have fractured the ice, moving it to the west. Huge cracks have formed in the cave arches, making them very unsafe and open water is now visible.
Mill Pond Environmental Assessment Public Scoping
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) Superintendent Dusty Shultz announced today that the National Park Service proposes to restore, as much as practicable, the hydrological connection between the Mill Pond and Little Glen Lake.To do so, the National Lakeshore will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) which will describe and analyze alternatives for this hydrological connection.
Circulation between the Mill Pond and Little Glen Lake used to occur via a small stream and wetland complex; however, the stream and wetland were replaced with a culvert when the roadway was built. The remaining wetland to the east side of State Highway M-109 (M-109) was filled during the l960s or 1970s.
The Mill Pond is now connected to Little Glen Lake under M-109 by 90 feet of 36-inch culvert. This culvert becomes blocked by mud, weeds and debris, and little to no circulation occurs between the Mill Pond and Little Glen Lake. The water that does flow from the Mill Pond under the roadway passes through a 130-foot long channel to reach Little Glen Lake.
The Mill Pond and the land immediately north and south of the connecting channel is within the boundary of the National Lakeshore and the proposed project is confined to lands within the boundary of the National Lakeshore. National Lakeshore facilities in the general area of the project include Glen Haven and the Glen Lake Picnic area, located along M-109 north of the culvert, and the Dune Climb located south of the culvert.
Preliminary Draft Alternatives have been developed for public review and comment. These include the
Alternative A - Installation of a new replacement structure under M-109 and dredging an access channel from the existing channel. The replacement structure could be a clear span bridge, a bottomless arch culvert or a box culvert.
Alternative B - Adds to Alternative A, reconstruction of approximately one acre of wetland on the west side (or Mill Pond side) of M-109 and approximately one acre of wetland on the east side (Little Glen Lake side) of M-109.
Alternative C - Adds to Alternative A, reconstruction of approximately one acre of wetland only on the east side of M-109.
Alternative D - Adds to Alternative A, reconstruction of approximately one acre of wetland only on the west side of M-109.
Alternative E - This alternative is the “no action” alternative in which no action is taken to restore the hydrologic connectivity between Little Glen Lake and the Mill Pond.
As part of the planning process for the Mill Pond hydrological connection to Little Glen Lake, the National Lakeshore welcomes your ideas and input regarding these preliminary alternatives and any issues or concerns relevant to you. They are especially interested in items you would like them to consider as they plan the project. Please provide your comments electronically through the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website. The address for this project is http://parkplanning.nps.gov/slbemillpond. There is also a link on the National Lakeshore’s website at www.nps.gov/slbe/. Comments may also be mailed to the National Lakeshore (Superintendent, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 9922 Front Street, Empire, Michigan, 49630).
The National Lakeshore requests that you provide your comments to them by September 30, 2013. The comments you submit during this “scoping” phase of planning will be evaluated and considered during further development of alternatives and analysis of impacts. When the EA is released, it will then be made available for further public review. At that time, the National Lakeshore will again solicit public input. For more information, please contact the National Lakeshore at 231-326-5134 or visit their website at www.nps.gov/slbe/.
Did You Know?
The lighthouse on South Manitou Island (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) was commissioned in 1872 and served Lake Michigan Shipping for over 100 years. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and climb its 117 step circular stairway to a great view of the Manitou Passage. More...