Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear believes that preservation of natural resources does not preclude saving cultural resources but rather, both goals can be achieved in balance. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is now fully committed to historic preservation in the Park, demonstrating their concurrence with this position. The road is not always a simple one however, in making management decisions that protect natural resources, cultural landscapes and recreational experiences in the Park. Priorities as to what is saved each year are set based on financial and human resources available.
Occasionally, therefore, Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear may advocate for or against policies, or respond to alternatives, actions, or plans proposed by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that we believe could affect the preservation of the Park’s historic resources. In this situation, Preserve submits comments to Sleeping Bear Dunes management. We may post our comments here on our website so members are aware of, and are given the opportunity to, support our stance. In some cases, we will engage our members by sending an email encouraging their voice and may provide an e-petition for easy response.
The following are issues that Preserve has responded to:
General Management Plan
The Park is currently developing a new General Management Plan that will guide the direction of the Park for the next 20 years. We encourage you to keep informed of this process and send the Park your comments that allow for the highest protection of cultural resources in the Park. For information on the GMP visit www.nps.gov/slbe
and click on General Management Plan/Wilderness. Review our comments on the Preferred Alternative presented in June 2008 [Adobe PDF]
In 2004-2005, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore met with groups interested in information on the meaning of â€œwildernessâ€ and its related effect in managing Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The controversy stems from the inclusion of some county roads and cultural resources within proposed wilderness boundaries. Some people would like these roads and resources to be removed from any Wilderness proposal. The resolution of this controversy is necessary for other planning efforts such as the General Management Plan and the Historic Properties Management Plan to move forward. For a more thorough explanation of the history of this issue, visit www.nps.gov/slbe/ and click on General Management Plan/Wilderness. Review Preserveâ€™s response to wilderness in the 2002 GMP. [Adobe PDF]Currently, Wilderness issues are being dealt with concurrently with the GMP process.
Port Oneida Scoping
The Park has begun plans for a large stabilization and rehabilitation project for the Port Oneida Rural Historic District presently scheduled for implementation in 2011. In Fall of 2005, the Park solicited public input regarding ideas and plans for stabilizing and rehabilitating historic structures and landscapes in Port Oneida . The commitment to the preservation of Port Oneida is not in the balance, but rather the Lakeshore is seeking new and creative ways in which these structures could be preserved while offering possible educational and recreational uses, as well as input on uses that might be objectionable. We hope you review our comments [Adobe PDF] and offer some of your own. More public meetings will be held and draft alternatives offered. Stay posted for updates on these exciting plans
Homestead Environmental Assessment
The Homestead Resort has had difficulty with the sewage disposal system it operates within an easement it owns over Park lands. The Park evaluated alternative locations to remedy the situation. Several private inholders in the Park strongly opposed both the current and alternate locations. Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear also commented [Adobe PDF] due to the potential impact of the alternatives on the historic Thoreson farm.
*Three reports have been written about the historic properties in the Park to provide background for these decisions. A Garden Apart: An Agricultural and Settlement History of Michiganâ€™s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Region Farming at the Waterâ€™s Edge: An Assessment of Agricultural and Cultural Landscape Resources in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan; Coming Through With Rye: An Historic Agricultural Landscape Study of South Manitou Island at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan. These reports are available at the Visitor Center and at the The Cottage Book Shop
in Glen Arbor, MI.