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The National Park Service has released the draft Good Fellow Club Youth Camp Historic Structures Report/Environmental Assessment online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore seeking public comment through July 21, 2009. Hard copies of the document will also be available for review at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center located at Indiana State Road 49, and US Highway 20, and at the national lakeshore’s headquarters at 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, in Porter, Indiana, or you can request an electronic copy at the address listed below. Each unit of the National Park Service is driven by federal enabling legislation, and this management plan is needed to ensure that the development of the historic Good Fellow Club Youth Camp meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established in part to preserve the cultural resources of Northwest Indiana.
The National Park Service will host an open house at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center on July 15, 2009, from 6:00 p. m. to 8:00 p. m., featuring informational displays about the management plan. The meeting is in an open house format, you can arrive at any time and stay as long as you like. A brief 15 minute presentation will be given at 6:30 pm.
The Good Fellow Club Youth Camp Historic Structures Report/Environmental Assessment evaluates four possible alternatives in depth. These alternatives explore a range of options for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Good Fellow Club Youth Camp that meet the national lakeshore’s purpose and objectives while protecting or minimizing impacts on its resources. The alternatives are consistent with applicable NPS laws, policies, and regulations. The alternatives under consideration are listed below:
Alternative A (No Action): Continue Current Management of Existing Landscape Patterns and Features
Alternative B: Rehabilitate the Historic Good Fellow Club Youth Camp to Accommodate its Traditional Use as a Recreational Camp for Youth
Alternative C: Rehabilitate the Historic Good Fellow Club Youth Camp to Enhance Environmental Learning Opportunities
Alternative D: Rehabilitate the Historic Good Fellow Club Youth Camp to Accommodate Conferences, Events, and Activities Rental, and also Accessible
Facilities and Overnight Accommodations for Special Needs Clients
Each alternative addresses the potential environmental impacts to: historic structures; cultural landscapes; archeological resources; soils, air, and water quality; vegetation; wildlife and wildlife habitat; sensitive and rare species; recreation resources; visitor use and experience; park operations; night skies/lightscapes; soundscapes; and socioeconomic conditions.
The preferred alternative, Alternative D, proposes a partnership between the NPS and a private concessionaire or lessee interested in sensitively rehabilitating the Good Fellow Club Youth Camp for commercial special events and rental activities such as conferences, and professional and recreational retreats. In this alternative, to align with the national lakeshore’s goals and objectives for all sites, the maintenance and management of the Good Fellow Club Youth Camp would follow a set of best management practices developed specifically for the site to promote environmental stewardship and the protection of historic resources.
Alternative D is the preferred because it would best protect the integrity and character defining qualities of the Good Fellow Club Youth Camp, while providing for contemporary use of the site benefitting the broadest range of park visitors.
The best way to comment on the Environmental Assessment is to use the electronic form located at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. If you cannot use the electronic form, you may mail a hard copy comment form and/or letter to:
Attention: Judith Collins, Historical Architect
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, Indiana 46304-1299
The comment period closes on 07/21/2009. Your comments must be postmarked no later than 07/21/2009.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan, and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year.