Sunset & Sequestration

March 21, 2013

"Lake Michigan Overlook" Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

“Lake Michigan Overlook” Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, photo by Michigan Nut

The other day on Leelanau.com I posted Sequestration and the Sleeping Bear Dunes detailing cuts that will be made at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to meet their 5% budget requirement. The Pictured Rocks National LakeshoreIsle Royale and the Keweenaw National Historical Park will all be forced to trim budgets as well. Due to the fact that the NPS fiscal year ends in September, the cuts end up being closer to 10% than 5%.

All of the officials quoted stress that the parks remain open and (mostly) accessible, but when Michigan is spending millions of dollars promoting Pure Michigan nationwide with these parks at the center of our offerings, there’s no question that this is bad news for tourism!

John took this photo about a year ago – view it bigger and see more in his Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore slideshow. He is a frequent guest on Michigan in Pictures – view more of his posts right here.

5 Responses to “Sunset & Sequestration”

  1. Maria Says:

    We all need to balance an out of control budget, on state and national levels just as we must balance our own personal budgets. This is the time to make some hard decisions and determine priorities….there may be some hidden expenses that are not necessary. I believe that we can make the sunset a priority.

    • farlane Says:

      The idea that our national parks have an out of control budget is simply not true. The article linked to above explains that “Staffing and fixed costs like utilities make up about 98% of the park’s budget.”

      In 2011, there were 1,348,304 visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They estimate that these people spent $132,774,000 in communities surrounding the park, supporting roughly 2,347 jobs in the local area. The annual budget of the Lakeshore is just under $4.6 million, making the Park an extraordinarily cost-effective economic driver with a 3.4% cost/benefit ratio. The overall NPS administration adds costs and there’s no doubt that the natural beauty would attract visitors in any case, but the park system protects, improves and promotes the safe & wise use of these shared national treasures in a way that would be impossible without our investment in them.

      This is EXACTLY why the blindly brutal across the board slash that is the Sequester is so senseless. The National Park System WORKS and we are putting the people out of work who make it work.

  2. farlane Says:

    Thank you Mark – hope all is well with you!


  3. Politicians are hitting the places we love instead of the pork they love. Yes, the park system works. But, Northern Michigan’s secret is out and I believe the visitors will continue. Let’s hope there are enough rangers to prevent them from trampling the fragile dunes. Sheepishly, I admit adding to the secret getting out. I’m in the process of a Second Edition of “Memory Lake”, which is set in Leelanau County, near the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Fans usually visit the area after reading it, though my friends wish they didn’t! They wish for the area to remain as ‘sleepy’ as it was in decades past. I have included many pages on respecting the dunes, and will keep saying it on the ensuing book tour. And, I will contribute net proceeds toward the area’s preservation!


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