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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

National Parks of the Great Lakes

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published July 2007


View Full Report
(PDF, 17 MB, 114 pages)

View Summary

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Introduction

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Full Chapter | Summary

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Full Chapter | Summary

Isle Royale National Park
Full Chapter | Summary

Keweenaw National Historical Park
Full Chapter | Summary

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Full Chapter | Summary

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Full Chapter | Summary

Methodology and Acknowledgments

The Great Lakes are a priceless resource for our nation. They hold one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply, so ensuring their health is of the utmost importance. The Great Lakes also support a variety of fish and wildlife, and they have long played a crucial role in the lives of the people who live in communities along their shores. The Great Lakes are aesthetic resources, they provide abundant recreational opportunities, and they drive regional economies.

With creation of the National Park Service in 1916, the federal government began in earnest to provide for the long-term protection of some of the nation's most important natural and cultural resources. Since then, several national parks have been established along the Great Lakes to protect natural wonders and preserve facets of our nation's history.

Recognizing the significance of the Great Lakes, the Center for State of the Parks endeavored to determine the conditions of natural and cultural resources at six parks along the lakes: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and Keweenaw National Historical Park. This sampling includes all of our nation's national lakeshores, as well as an iconic national park and a national historical park. Are resources in these parks well protected and interpreted for visitors?

Center for State of the Parks® researchers used established, peer-reviewed methodologies to systemically rate conditions of both natural and cultural resources at five of these six parks; only cultural resources were assessed at Keweenaw National Historical Park (see Appendix). The report describe these sites and their significance, and summarize resource conditions. Also noted are funding and staffing considerations, park planning efforts, resource education opportunities, and external support provided by volunteers and partner organizations.

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