General Management Plan/Wilderness Study
We are very pleased to present to you the Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore). The completion of this document depended on the participation of all of you and reflects your valued input.
The planning process for this Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement began in 2006. Throughout the process National Lakeshore staff conducted an extensive public involvement and outreach program. As we go to press with the final document, National Park Service (NPS) staff have met with more than 2,500 people in more than 90 informational meetings held throughout the planning process.
We want to express our gratitude to the many of you who provided comments on the Draft General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement. The draft plan was made available for public review between April 7 and June 15, 2008. Public hearings were held in Honor, Traverse City, and Glen Arbor, Michigan, on June 3, 4, and 5, 2008, respectively, with a total of 196 people attending. A total of 292 comments were received via letters, electronic mail messages, Web responses, and comments transcribed from the public hearings.
The Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement was crafted from the valuable input we received on the draft plan, and we have revised the preferred alternative based upon your input. Perhaps the most significant changes are that the Cottonwood Trail into the dunes from the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive has been removed from proposed wilderness, and electric motors will be allowed on Otter, Tucker, and Bass (Leelanau County) lakes. To see all the significant changes to the preferred alternative, and for information on the wide range of comments received and our responses to those comments, please refer to the "Comments on, Changes to, and Responses to Comments on the Draft Plan" section in chapter 6 of this plan.
Copies of the plan will be available at:
• Libraries: Benzie Shores District Library, Darcy Library of Beulah, Glen Lake Community Library, Leelanau Township Library, Leland Township Library, Library of Michigan, Suttons Bay Bingham District Library, and Traverse City District Library
• On the Internet (on this website or follow instructions and link from the park website at www.nps.gov/slbe)
• Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center
Following distribution of the final plan and a 30-day no-action period, a "Record of Decision" will be signed by the National Lakeshore superintendent and the NPS regional director documenting the selection of the alternative to be implemented.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for your continued interest in this very special place. Working together, we have developed a final plan that maintains a variety of recreational opportunities while continuing to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We could not have done this without you.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630
Dear Friends and Neighbors of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: