The Park Service Viewpoint

We need your support.

Welcome! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is being cared for today and preserved for future generations by the American people. This dual objective, use and preservation, comes at a price. Protecting our natural and cultural heritage while ensuring that everyone visiting these areas has a safe, enjoyable and educational experience costs money.

Even as the number of visitors continues to climb due to the popularity of this national treasure, government funding available for necessities such as road and building repairs, facility maintenance, visitor protection, and other services has not kept pace with demand. In 1996, to address these needs, Congress directed the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement the Recreation Fee Program in three of its agencies, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program will help spread some of the costs for managing these lands among those who use them.

Why the emphasis on recreational use fees?

Managing our public lands is a major financial investment. While most of that investment comes from our general tax base, those who use these areas for recreation derive a greater benefit from and place a greater burden upon park resources that the public at large. These new fees redistribute that burden so that users pay an increased share of the costs. We encourage you to participate in recreational activities. Such activities will enhance your visit and create memories. But we also ask you to remember your role in keeping the outdoor recreation experience alive for others.

The Recreation Fee Demonstration Program will:

· Allow a significant portion of the fees collected at a public area to be spent directly on behalf of that area. (80% to the Lakeshore and 20% to the National Park Service).
· Allow each agency to develop fair and equitable fee collection programs, whether the public areas are large or small, urban or wilderness, natural or historical.
· Allow each agency to collect fees efficiently and to determine the activities to be covered by fees. In some cases, visitors will have to pay for activities that have never had an associated fee.
· Continue for three years, at which point the program will be evaluated. The findings will determine a fee collection policy in later years.

The new fees will be used for:

—Repairs and improvements to roads, buildings, campgrounds and trails
—Improved signs and exhibits.
—Educational programs, guided walks and hikes and other visitor activities.
—Natural habitat protection.
—Stabilization and restoration of historic structures.
—Visitor safety and protection

America’s Public Lands

The future of these public lands rests with all American citizens. The actions we take today will reflect the price we are willing to pay to pass these lands on to future generations, protected and in better condition. We need and welcome your support. Thank you!

Rev. 3/98 – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Source:Sleeping Bear Dunes NL