National Park Service

Map shows prescribed burn areas
National Parks Service

For the first time, the National Park Service will do a controlled burn at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Officials say they plan to start the fire in two forested regions covering about 900 acres in the Platte River District.

Micah Bell is a fire prevention educator with the Great Lakes Fire Management Zone. He says without fire as a disruptor, hardwood trees will outcompete the pines and alter the forest’s ecology.

 

Study shows Isle Royale wolves are genetically weaker

Apr 22, 2019
Relocated wolf lands on Isle Royale
Courtney Celley / USFWS

Researchers say wolves on Isle Royale are genetically weaker from years of inbreeding.

A recent study looked at DNA collected over 30 years from wolves living on the island.

Michigan Technological University Professor Rolf Peterson says introducing more wolves from different regions may lead to a healthier population.

"It’s not going to be stable any more than it’s ever been," Peterson says. "But there shouldn’t be a problem with genetic-caused defects or health problems for a long time."

Broken glass spread along Sleeping Bear Dunes beach

Apr 16, 2019
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

 

The National Parks Service says broken glass was purposely placed in the sand along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The glass was found near Good Harbor Picnic Area at the east end of Lake Michigan Road in Cleveland Township.

Park Rangers say it was spread evenly across several hundred yards. They say the pieces looked like they had been broken recently, and would have injured beachgoers if stepped on.

Credit Seth Moore

Researchers are studying moose on Isle Royale to learn the impact of predators on the island.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Reservations will be required for all campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore starting April 1.

Most of the sites at Platte River Campground already took reservations, but D.H. Day Campground was entirely first-come first-serve, leading to long lines overnight as people waited to nab a site. The National Park Service says the change to reservations will fix those long lines.

Snowshoeing at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
NPS.gov/Kerry Kelly 2007

Updated Jan. 15, 2019: As of Saturday National Park maintenance workers have begun plowing and picking up trash.

While many federal employees continue to be out of work during the partial government shutdown, about 30 volunteers are filling in for park rangers at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

Members of the non-profit group Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes have emptied trash receptacles, cleaned and restocked bathrooms, and groomed 20 miles of trails around the Lakeshore.

Michigan Tech University

After sixty years, the winter study on Isle Royale has been put on hold because of the federal government shutdown. 

NPS/Jim Peaco

National park officials will stop bringing wolves to Isle Royale this fall. Four wolves have been relocated to Isle Royale National Park so far, as officials work to keep the island's moose population in check and balance the island's ecosystem.

Originally, the plan was to bring six gray wolves to the island, but recent cold weather, rain and snow showers have made wolf trapping less safe.

NPS/JACOB W. FRANK

A wolf that was part of a plan to repopulate Isle Royale National Park died last week. The wolf died in a holding facility during the transportation process.

New wolves are being introduced to the island as part of a long-term plan to balance the island’s ecosystem. Moose populations on the island have been on the rise as the wolf population has dwindled to just two, and moose are overbrowsing the island. Park officials plan to introduce 20 to 30 wolves in the next few years to help keep the moose population in check.

USFWS/Courtney Celley

A male and female gray wolf were released in Isle Royale National Park Wednesday. The wolves came from two different packs in Minnesota. They were captured at the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and then transported by plane to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. 

“One of the wolves – the female wolf – stayed in the crate for about 45 minutes before she decided to head out and check out the island,” says Liz Valencia, public information officer for the park.

Valencia says the male wolf didn’t leave his crate till after dark.

Michigan Tech University

The National Park Service is one step closer to reintroducing wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The park in Lake Superior would get 20 to 30 new wolves in the next three years.

Isle Royale once had around 50 wolves. But Park Superintendent Phyllis Green says fewer new wolves have made it to the island in recent years because Lake Superior is freezing over less. She attributes that to the warming climate. As a result, there’s been inbreeding and disease in the wolf population.

Michigan Tech University

A wildlife researcher suspects Isle Royale National Park may be down to just one wolf. The island used to have a pack of significant population of grey timber wolves, but the population has dwindled to just two in recent years in part because of inbreeding.

Historic Sleeping Bear Inn taken off the market

Jun 28, 2017
National Park Service

The National Park Service is scrapping plans to lease out the historic Sleeping Bear Inn in Glen Haven. The two-story inn was built in 1857 and has not been unoccupied since the 1970's.

Morgan Springer

I’m staying at D. H. Day Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with family. My uncle, aunt and three cousins are visiting from New York. It’s a perfect evening – in my opinion –  at Site 15. Somewhat cool; sweaters and socks weather. The sky is flecked with stars, and the peepers are out. We sit around around the fire roasting marshmallows for the classic camping dessert: s'mores. 

Charles Dawley

Communities near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are doing their best to deal with a surge of tourists.

Attendance at the park has been rising for five years. Last year, the number of visitors jumped by 37 percent - to more than 720,000 people. That’s caused issues with parking, and a lack of restrooms and hotel rooms.

Munising Mayor Rod DesJardins says the popularity of the park is changing his town.

“We used to be somewhat of a sleepy, backwater town with a modest summer tourist economy," says DesJardins. "Now we are a premier destination in the Midwest.”

Aaron Selbig

A popular hiking trail near Glen Arbor is set to reopen this weekend. 

The Alligator Hill trail was wiped out by a powerful windstorm that hit northern Michigan last August. Crews with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have removed hundreds of trees and restored the trail in its original location.

The park's deputy superintendent, Tom Ulrich, says there are no plans to remove the rest of the fallen trees on Alligator Hill.

The National Park Service is taking a closer look at whether or not to bring more grey wolves to Isle Royale National Park. Only two wolves remain on the island now.

To help make its decision, the park service wants to hear from you. It’s accepting public comments on the question right now.

Aaron Selbig

Soon it will cost more to go to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In January the entrance fee will go from $10 to $15, and the annual entrance pass will increase from $20 to $30. Camping fees will also increase. 

Merrith Baughman, ​park ranger and chief of interpretation and visitor services, says the National Park Service wants more consistent fees across the country.