Located in Northwest Michigan on the shore of Lake Michigan in Benzie and Leelanau Counties. Sleeping Bear Dunes is a scenic 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan's coastline, plus North and South Manitou Islands (The Islands sit just off the mainland coast, appearing every bit as the cubs in Native American legend who were lost to the deep waters while Mama Bear on the mainland watched in desperation). The area has beautiful natural features, including miles and miles of unpopulated sand beaches, woods and forests, and awe-inspiring sand dunes created by glaciers and other geological processes unfolding yet today. The Lakeshore’s history is replete with maritime and lumbering adventure as well as agricultural development. The natural harbors at South and North Manitou Islands brought safe haven to many a ship, while other ships that were not so fortunate shipwrecked, many still lying on the lake bottom. Historical features throughout the Park’s acreage on the Islands and on the Mainland are many, including an 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations, Port Oneida (a historically significant former farming community), Boekelodge (an old, restored cabin deep in the woods of Benzie County), Glen Haven (a tiny community removed from their homes by the establishment of the Park), and many other features. The Lakeshore comprises 56,993 federal acres and 4,194 non-federal acres.
March 4, 2014:
CAL celebrates passage of the legislation on which we’ve been working for many, many years to reform the 1982 congressionally mandated “de-facto” wilderness that has threatened public access and historical and natural features for over thirty years at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Today’s legislation changes the egregious 1981 wilderness boundaries into ones that protect public access on county roads and beaches, and reaffirms the enabling legislation’s establishment of “recreation” as its aim, alongside conservation of the natural resources. A win-win for recreationists and conservations alike has been achieved. CAL thanks and congratulates all who have contributed to this effort.
Founded in 2002, Citizens for Access to the Lakeshore (CAL) monitors for, and responds to any actions by the National Park Service (NPS) that may result in a diminishment of public access in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where it is not necessary to protect Lakeshore resources. We support preservation of the Lakeshore’s natural, cultural and historical features and the purpose of the Park as established in the enabling legislation creating the Park. We oppose bureaucratic attempts in any form to rewrite the Park’s “purpose”, as expressed in the 1970 enabling legislation that put the Lakeshore under federal jurisdiction as established in good faith with the support of the citizens of the State of Michigan at the time. Members receive comprehensive newsletters as news of significance occurs. CAL actively participates in many National Park Service (NPS) citizen input processes, including, and especially the NPS 2006-2008 General Management Plan/Wilderness Study.