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This event is part of additional trainings on various aspects of volunteering in the park. Speakers from the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes group and NPS wildlife, interpretation, and law enforcement staff will cover the basics of the Volunteer-In-Park (VIP) program, information about the park and its programs, training in visitor contact methods, safety, and scheduling. The BARK Ranger program will be a break-off session of this training.
National Lakeshore Wildlife Technician and BARK Ranger Coordinator Christopher Long is looking forward to the event. “The National Lakeshore is unique among many park service units as it allows dogs in several areas, which can be a great experience for our visitors. However, leash laws and pet restrictions in certain areas are crucial to keeping pets, humans, and wildlife safe. This is especially important for our park’s piping plovers, an endangered shorebird that is easily disturbed or threatened by dogs, especially if off-leash.” As of 2018, with 28 pairs within the park and 67 known pairs throughout the entire Great Lakes, the National Lakeshore provides critical habitat to over one-half of the entire breeding population of the Great Lakes Piping Plover. “We are concerned about impacts from dog owners who may not fully understand the stress of dogs on wildlife or restrictions in the National Lakeshore. BARK Rangers will play a central role in visitor education and outreach regarding this issue. Leading by example and opening conversations with fellow visitors is a great way to bridge the information gap to protect piping plovers and other wildlife.”
If you are interested in volunteering, but are unable to attend the May 18 session, please contact Christopher Long, Wildlife Technician and BARK Ranger Coordinator for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, at (231) 326-4751.
Tags: Bark Ranger
Last updated: May 14, 2019