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Contact: Mike Duwe, 231-326-5134
The public is invited to drop in at any of three open houses designed to provide information and collect comments about the General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/WS/EIS) that the National Park Service (NPS) is initiating for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. “This is the scoping phase of the planning process,” says Superintendent Dusty Shultz. “We encourage those interested in the future management of the Lakeshore to become involved early to provide input for the next phase, which is the development of primary alternatives.”
All three open houses will take place from 3:00 p.m-7:00 p.m.: on Tuesday, February 14 at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center in Empire, on Wednesday, February 15, at the Traverse Area District Library in Traverse City and on Thursday, February 16, at the Benzonia Township Hall in Benzonia. NPS planning team members will be on hand to discuss topics such as natural and cultural resources, visitor use, and wilderness. People can submit their comments online, in writing, or to a court recorder at these open houses. Anyone who is interested should go to the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/slbe to view Newsletter #1 and “Frequently Asked Questions” and/or to submit comments there. Scoping comments are most useful if received by March 17, 2006. As the plan progresses over the next three years, there will be more opportunities for the public to participate and remain involved.
General Management Plans establish the overall direction for managing national parks for the next 20+ years. Wilderness Studies evaluate the characteristics and values of park lands, using definitions found in the Wilderness Act of 1964. Environmental Impact Statements evaluate potential impacts of alternative management approaches and wilderness designation.
For more information on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/slbe or call 231-326-5134.