2019-01-10 / Front Page

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will again be accessible to visitors

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will again be accessible to visitors, despite the government shutdown.
Superintendent Scott Tucker announced Saturday that visitor services, including plowing of trailhead parking lots and cleaning of restrooms, will resume using revenue generated by recreation fees.
National Park law enforcement rangers will be on duty during the lapse in appropriations.
Park Service officials have determined that recreation fee revenue collected under the Federal Lands and Recreation Enhancement Act may be used to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to plow trail head parking lots, clean restrooms, and remove trash. This will allow the Park Service to restore accessibility to the park for visitors while ensuring their health and safety.
Outdoor areas of the park will remain accessible. However, the visitor center in Empire and all other facilities will remain closed.
As of Saturday, the Friends of Sleeping Bear added a new page on their website friendsofsleepingbear.org. to provide the latest information about access to the National Park. Updates will be provided on a daily basis on the website as well as the Friends Facebook page.
“We greatly appreciate the generous contributions of Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes who have provided assistance with restrooms and trash during the lapse in appropriations,” Tucker said. “Their efforts have contributed significantly to our ability to restore access and basic services to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.”
While basic visitor services have been restored, other services may be limited or unavailable during the lapse in appropriations, including visitor centers, ranger talks and programs.
The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history, as Monday marked Day 24. The previous record was 21 days, set in the winter of 1995-96 when President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich were at odds over budget cuts.

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