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.
Lakeshore Delays Use of Prescribed Fire to Preserve Landscape
Contact: Steve Yancho, 231-326-5134
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has advised that plans for a prescribed fire to maintain open fields in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District area have been postponed. The prescribed fire for the Burfiend fields was planned to take place prior to significant “green-up,” but that window has passed for this spring. The fire treatment is intended to manage these former agricultural fields to help tell the story of the settlers of Port Oneida, to provide habitat for a variety of birds and wildlife, and to reduce the accumulation of finer fuels such as grass and herbaceous plants.
Prescribed fires can only be ignited when the wind, temperature and humidity factors - the “prescription” - allow for a fire which is not too intense, but still will burn enough to meet management objectives. “We knew we were shooting for a very limited window of opportunity,” said Natural Resource Chief Steve Yancho. “The timing and amount of rainfall and the progression of the fields to a “green-up” condition just kept us from being able to use fire as a tool this spring.”
The Lakeshore intends to monitor for the right conditions again in late summer or early fall and if feasible, conduct this prescribed fire at that time with crews of professionals from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Superintendent Dusty Shultz noted that “The fire staff at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has been conducting burns like this for many years with great success in much more populous areas. We look forward to the careful use of this valuable tool at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as well.”
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of over 390 sites saved by the American people and administered by the National Park Service so that all may experience our heritage. For more information about the park, please call the park at 231-326-5134.
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.