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National Park Service holds meetings on Isle Royale long-term plan

The National Park Service will hold four meetings, starting today, to get input on its long-range plans for Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. A big focus will be on what to do about long-term private leases on the island that are nearing expiration.

Two of the “listening sessions” are in Minnesota:

  • Today, 4-7 p.m., Mill City Museum, 710 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis
  • Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., Radisson Hotel, 505 W. Superior St., Duluth

The other two are in Michigan: Thursday in Houghton and Dec. 7 in Lansing.

The sessions will be informal gatherings where the public can talk with park personnel about plan goals and processes, issues, ideas and concerns.

Seth DePasquale, Cultural Resource Manager at Isle Royale National Park, told WTIP radio that the sessions are a start in the process:

“This is at the very head of the environmental assessment. What we’re doing, at least for these initial listening sessions, is just a way to sort of gather thoughts and impressions that the general public has about cultural resources on Isle Royale National Park, and how they think the park maybe should manage these different resources on the island.”

A major part of the Park Service’s Cultural Resource Management Plan for Isle Royale National Park will deal with the private leases, DePasquale said:

“In the past, there were quite a few agreements made between property holders when the park was established and we’re coming to terms of expiration. Various leases are expiring and we’re considering options for management of those facilities. And so that’s going to be a big part of it. We have existing cabins that have been used in the past as fisheries, some of them are transitioning into summer residences. Some of them were summer residences from the get go. And as these leases expire, we need more definitive guidance on how we’re going to proceed in regards to just their general management and that sort of thing.”

Development of the plan is expected to take two years.

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