Greetings from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

I have visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes area every summer for over half a century and love the lakes, the dunes, the forests, the views, and the up north air deeply. It’s part of my soul. But I am so very disappointed and disturbed by the excessively wide paved bike “trail” that has been built, causing the destruction of thousands of trees and native plants and loss of habitat for animals. About 5 miles has been built so far, with plans to build more next year and the year after, for a total of 27 miles, the entire length of the Lakeshore. The park has agreed to the local bike group’s plans without any objection. This is not a rail -to-trail conversion project but a 20-30 foot wide swath of destruction through mature hardwood forests, wooded wetlands, swamps, creeks, fragile dune scrublands, dunes, and historic areas that the park is supposed to be protecting and preserving for future generations. Many people are upset about this destruction of the environment by the very agency that is supposed to be protecting it. We have started a group, Sleeping Bear Naturally. We believe the Environmental Assessment on which the project was approved is defective. We believe that a project of this scope, through the whole length of the Lakeshore, going through most all of different environments found there, deserves a full Environmental Impact Statement. We have two petitions online: the original Don’t Pave the Forest Petition, with almost 900 signatures, and this summer’s Don’t Pave Any More Forest Petition. You can find out more about this issue at our Facebook page.


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes features immense and magnificent sand dunes, as well as beaches, forests and inland lakes along a 35-mile strip of the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Off the coast, the park also includes two undeveloped islands, North and South Manitou Islands, which offer a more remote backcountry experience.

State(s): Michigan

Established: 1970

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