National Park Service Seeking Public Input on Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Isle Royale National Park

by Jon D. B.
UNITED STATES - 2009/06/14: Bull moose. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Want to help the National Park Service (NPS) form their Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Isle Royale National Park (ISRO)? Here’s how.

Now that NPS has announced their Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Isle Royale National Park, it’s time to get into action. Especially if you live in Michigan and wish to help preserve this fantastic park and all it protects.

But first, what is this Wilderness Stewardship Plan?

In a nutshell, ISRO is seeking to form a broad range of actions for managing wilderness and cultural resources within wilderness inside the park boundary. In addition, the park hopes to address preliminary issues and potential impacts associated with wilderness management.

An EIS for short, this Environmental Impact Statement / Wilderness Statement will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) alongside other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

In short, this plan will determine preservation and use of historic structures in potential and designated wilderness.

To do so, however, the EIS also needs to be able to describe how wilderness resources are affected by the “no action alternatives,” Isle Royale National Park states in their media release. Two action alternatives that address recreation opportunities and other management of wilderness, including the management of historic properties within wilderness, are necessary as a result. And that’s where you come in.

How can I help Isle Royale National Park?

ISRO is opening the “scoping period” of their EIS to the public for review and comment. So if you want to help, now is your chance. Starting Oct. 20, the public has 30 days for input. Here’s how:

Isle Royale National Park also Asking for Public Help for NPS ‘Ranger III’ Ferry Fees

In addition, ISRO has announced their ferry fares for 2023. If you know the park, then you’ve surely met with the historic Ranger III: the National Park Service’s ferry to and from Isle Royale. The fees to use the ferry have remained the same since 2018, but the park is looking to change these rates.

ISRO, however, “encourages the public to comment on these proposed changes before a final decision is made,” instead of accepting them point-blank. First, view the fees below, and then learn how to submit your input below:

  • One-Way Adult Fare: $80 (up from $70 in 2022)
  • One-Way Child Fare: $40 (up from $35 in 2022)
  • One-Way Canoe/Kayak Fare: $40 (up from $30 in 2022)
  • One-Way Oversized Canoe/Kayak Fare (>18ft or 80 lbs): $80 (up from $60 in 2022)
  • One-Way Boat (less than 18’01”) Fare: $125 (up from $100 in 2022)
  • One-Way Boat (18’01” – 20’00”) Fare: $200 (up from $150 in 2022)
  • Keweenaw Waterway Cruise Adult Fare: $36 (up from $30 in 2022)
  • Keweenaw Waterway Cruise Child Fare: $18 (up from $15 in 2022)

For the full Ranger III passenger and freight proposed fare structure, visit NPS’s ISRO website here.

The comment period for Ranger III fees is open until November 25, 2022. To comment, visit NPS Park Planning here.

The proposed fare change will take effect starting January 3, 2023 when reservations open for the upcoming summer. And remember, all Ranger III fares stay within the park. Fees paid help to maintain the vessel, pay staffing costs, and provide services for the public.

Thank you for being responsible stewards of our natural world, Outsiders!