Cover to A Nationalized Lakeshore: The Creation and Administration of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Cover Page


Table of Contents


Chapter One,
"National Parks Are Where You Find Them:" The Origins of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Chapter Two,
"We're Going For The Right Thing:" The Legislative Struggle to Create Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 1971- 1977

Chapter Three,
Changes on the Land: The Early Management of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 1977-1983

Chapter Four
Plans, Programs and Controversy: The Reassessment of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 1977-1983

Chapter Five,
"A Local and National Treasure:" Managing the Sleeping Bear Dunes Park, 1984- 1995

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore At Twenty-Five

Appendix One,
Budgetary Progress of Sleeping Bear Dunes N.L.

Appendix Two,
Selected Past and Present Employees of Sleeping Bear N.L.

Appendix Three,
Selected Visitation Statistics

Appendix Four,
Public Law 91-479

Chapter 1 Notes

Chapter 2 Notes

Chapter 3 Notes

Chapter 4 Notes

Chapter 5 Notes

Conclusion Notes




A Nationalized Lakeshore:
The Creation and Administration of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Chapter Three

Martinek Retires

 Martinek Retires

     In 1976, the lakeshore’s permanent staff doubled with the addition of five new full time positions; a Chief Ranger, a District Ranger, Facility Manager, Administrative Clerk, and a Maintenance Mechanic. The park looked like it was finally coming together.  The land acquisition program had finally given the lakeshore staff a resource they could protect and interpret.  Plans were underway for the formal dedication of the lakeshore in 1977.  But despite these optimistic developments 1977 was a year of frustration and disappointment for Superintendent Martinek.[73]

     In the spring of 1977, Julius Martinek was relieved of his responsibilities as lakeshore superintendent.  Martinek was suffering from high-blood pressure.  His doctor ordered him to “get away from the office for awhile.” A hands-on superintendent, Martinek had been working especially hard in the two years following the turn-over of state park lands. He liked his staff to show initiative and he could be an “in your face” administrator if he did not think the results measured up to his high expectations. He himself had to take considerable abuse in his dealings with local residents, the Advisory Commission, and the press. That after getting Sleeping Bear up, off the ground and nearly thirty years with the agency, Martinek needed a medical leave was not surprising.[74]

     Unfortunately, Martinek also left Sleeping Bear under the cloud of an Inspector General’s Office investigation.  The roots of this problem were firmly set in the very “boot-strapping” style that allowed Martinek to be so successful in establishing Sleeping Bear Lakeshore.  Over the years the lakeshore had acquired a bewildering array of surplus federal equipment: trucks, jeeps, tents, hand tools, etc.  On one occasion Martinek acquired ten aluminum aircraft wing tanks on the expectation that someday they might be useful building a floating dock.  In addition to acquiring odd bits of surplus equipment, Martinek was a master of using the material as trade or barter with non-federal agencies.  With this in mind he sometimes acquired items for which the lakeshore had no immediate need.  In addition to the government surplus there were also a lot of items salvaged from lakeshore properties acquired and slated for demolition.  Furnaces, refrigerators, and stoves, while generally removed by previous owners or sold at bid, were sometimes left for use by the lakeshore to prepare quarters for seasonal employees.  Around the park, in barns, garages, and most especially at the Empire Air Force base the lakeshore had a large inventory of surplus items in storage. At the other Great Lakes parks and in the Regional Office the word went out with a nod or a wink, that when you visit Sleeping Bear make sure you get a tour of “all the neat stuff Marty’s got up in storage.” Martinek’s interest in this material menagerie was both professional and personal.  Unfortunately, over the years of “bootstrapping” and using his own vehicles, the line between items he had acquired on his own and those he acquired through or for the lakeshore became blurred.  In the spring of 1976, a disgruntled member of the lakeshore staff filed a formal complaint against the Martinek with the Regional Office charging him with misappropriation of government equipment.[75]

     Superintendent Martinek was veteran employee of the park service with an outstanding leadership record.  He had a lot of friends and colleagues in the leadership of the agency, however, the staff of the lakeshore sometimes blanched under the paternalism of his “old park service” administrative style. The charges against Martinek took on greater gravity when the issue was referred to the Inspector General’s office in the Department of the Interior.  After being left to make do as best he could for so many years, Martinek was aggravated by all of the sudden attention from Omaha and Washington, D.C.  In disgust over the handling of the issue, depressed by personal matters, and beset with health problems Martinek retired from the National Park Service. Not for the first time in the history of Sleeping Bear, that which began in optimism and confidence ended in bitterness.[76]

NEXT> At Long Last: The Dedication of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


Last Modified: January 10, 2001 10:00:00 am PST

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