Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Preservation

Other Green Programs

Campground and Office Recycling
Since 1990 the park has worked in conjunction with community recycling programs. Opportunities for recycling are offered in the lakeshore's campgrounds, visitor centers, and offices. The Lakeshore recycles about 5000 pounds of office paper each year, along with smaller amounts of aluminum, scrap metal, and tires.

Reduced Toxins
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore employees have switched to alternative safer green products, replacing the more toxic or harmful items they once used. Supervisors were tasked with reducing toxins in their work places by 10% each year, a goal that was included in their annual performance standards.

This project has been especially effective with cleaning products and auto shop solvents. It has led to almost exclusive use of biodegradable "green" cleaning products, reducing petroleum based solvent use, and a continuing growing variety of "greener" products now used in the workplace.

Reduced Toxins
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore employees have switched to alternative safer green products, replacing the more toxic or harmful items they once used. Supervisors were tasked with reducing toxins in their work places by 10% each year, a goal that was included in their annual performance standards.

This project has been especially effective with cleaning products and auto shop solvents. It has led to almost exclusive use of biodegradable "green" cleaning products, reducing petroleum based solvent use, and a continuing growing variety of "greener" products now used in the workplace. 

Vehicle Fleet Downsizing

Selection of replacement vehicles is based on the smallest vehicle that will serve its primary purpose. Five vehicles have been downsized in the last eight years.

 

Nonnative Species

Invasive non-native species, including both plant and animal species, are major threats to lakeshore resources. Invasive aquatic species such as the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), river ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), and spiny water flea (bythetrepes cederstroemi) have been found in Lake Superior, most likely transported via ballast water or migration through manmade waterways.

The parasitic sea lamprey reached Lake Superior by the 1940's and quickly devastated the commercial fishery (Smith et al., 1974). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has conducted research and control efforts for over 20 years as part of a joint U.S./Canada effort, including annual assessments and treatments of Pictured Rocks National lakeshore streams and lakes.

The zebra mussel and ruffe are more recent invaders whose full ecological impacts are not yet known. At this time neither species has been found within the lakeshore, but could possibly find suitable habitat in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore waters. The spiny water flea has been found in Beaver Lake.

Other invasive species -- most notably the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) and spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) -- are relatively recent terrestrial invaders. The gypsy moth has defoliated vast amounts eastern hardwood forest, up to 12 million acres in a single year (McManus et al., 1989). The NPS at Pictured Rocks cooperates with the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry program in monitoring gypsy moths via traps with pheromone baits. Moths have been trapped in the lakeshore since 1990, but not in large numbers. The Lakeshore is currently located at the western front of the moth invasion moving through the Upper Peninsula. The State of Michigan supplements the USFS monitoring effort with a more intensive trapping program called "Slow the Spread".

Spotted knapweed quickly overtakes dry and open or disturbed plant habitats, reducing species diversity. It is a serious threat to lakeshore resources, particularly dunes systems. Sand Point, the Miners Beach area, and the Grand Sable Dunes all have significant populations. Initial control efforts have begun at Sand Point, where the population is small enough to control via mechanical means (hand pulling) and there is no easy access for seed recolonization. More aggressive control efforts would require sustained chemical treatment and substantial investigation of treatments on native plant communities, as well as follow-up monitoring. Such efforts are beyond lakeshore budget and staff means at this time. The invasion of dunes plant communities, many of which contain threatened, endangered and rare species, is of particular interest and concern.

One purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) plant was found within the Lakeshore along the Mosquito River Trail in the early 1990's and was quickly removed. Plants were found and removed in the same area in later years. One plant was found at the Little Beaver boat ramp in 1996 and removed. This species has tremendous potential to overtake wetland habitats, replacing native species, but has yet to invade PRNL. The abundance of wetlands in the lakeshore subject to invasion make monitoring for this species particularly important.

Air Quality

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is designated a Class II area under the Clean Air Act. An assessment based on lichen flora and elemental analysis suggested that air quality in the vicinity is quite good.

Although large-scale heavy industry is quite distant from the lakeshore, some long range/global atmospheric transport of pollutants to the lakeshore area has been documented. Acid deposition in the central Upper Peninsula is a well-established phenomenon. Long-range transport of toxics/pollutants has apparently influenced other remote park units in the region more than PRNL.

No baseline information exists on any ambient air quality parameter within the lakeshore boundary. There is an ozone monitoring station at Marquette, Michigan, 75 km (45 miles) to the west.

Community Partners

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has joined with many local businesses as "Community Partners" to better serve visitors to the area.

“With over 425,000 people coming every year to enjoy America’s first national lakeshore, we recognize that there are many businesses and organizations in our gateway communities that are instrumental in providing knowledge and information about the park to visitors,” Superintendent Jim Northup explained.

“While we encourage all park visitors to visit our website before their visit, stop at the Interagency Visitor Center in Munising, or talk to our staff at our three other visitor centers or in the field, we recognize that many visitors get their information from a wide variety of local sources," Northup added. "The Community Partner Program enables the lakeshore to work more closely with, provide better information to, and acknowledge the efforts of these partner locations.”

Many local motels, restaurants and other businesses in communities adjacent to the park are Community Partners. Participating business locations have a comprehensive reference package of information about the park and a counter-top display and window-display placard identifying that location as a Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Community Partner.

“Through this program we believe that we can do an even better job of making visitors aware of all the wonderful things there are to do and see in the national lakeshore and the surrounding area,” Northup said, “and strengthen our communications and relationships with our neighbors.”

For more information about the Community Partner Program, please contact Northup or Gregg Bruff, Chief of Heritage Education, at 387-2607.

Join Our Friends

National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation

This friends group is a privately supported effort to fund special projects in the five U.S. national parks on Lake Superior.  The five parks are Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Grand Portage National Monument, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historical Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Donations to the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation assist parks with worthy projects over and above funding for basic park operations. Projects include preservation of historic structures and lighthouses, improved visitor services, and enhanced environmental education programs. 

The NPLSF is actively seeking partners to assist in developing this special new funding organization to complement efforts by the Friends organizations of individual parks.  Please contact the Foundation for learn more about becoming involved in these efforts.

National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation
P.O. Box 632
Houghton, MI 49931

www.nationalparksoflakesuperior.org

Bookstore

Eastern National
The Lakeshore's cooperating association, Eastern National, operates small bookstores at three visitor centers at Pictured Rocks.

The Grand Sable Visitor Center, Miners Castle Information Station, and Munising Falls Interpretive Center are open Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Au Sable Light Station Information Center, slated to open in 2007, will be open July 1 to Labor Day.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a national program that promotes the protection of our nation's wildlands through education, research, and partnerships. Leave No Trace teaches minimum impact hiking and camping skills and wildland ethics, and builds awareness, appreciation, and respect for our public recreation places.

Four federal land management agencies (National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) promote the Leave No Trace message.  Working with outdoor retailers, educators, and user groups these federal agencies are helping to make Leave No Trace the common language for all outdoor enthusiasts.

With increasing visitor use, both day and overnight, it is important to minimize our impacts and Leave No Trace of our visits within the lakeshore and special other places. Trips that include awareness and the use of minimum impact practices conserve natural conditions of the outdoors, making the adventure enjoyable and allowing others the same experience. 

Leave No Trace goes beyond following the rules; it requires thoughtful judgement for each situation that comes up.  Leave No Trace follows a set of seven principles that can be applied in any natural setting to minimize human impacts on the environment.  Following the Leave No Trace principles and combining them with your personal judgment, awareness, and experience will help protect precious natural and cultural park resources and preserve the park experience for you and for future visitors.