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      Federal cuts find their way to Sleeping Bear Lakeshore

      The Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore will be forced to cut their budget by 5% as a part of the sequestration.

      Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be reducing it's annual budget as a part of the sequestration.

      The sequestration, a series of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts on the federal level, has forced the National Lakeshore to reduce it's annual budget by five-percent. The park has to absorb this spending cut in the remaining seven months of the fiscal year (ending in September).

      For the Sleeping Bear Lakeshore, the spending cuts amount to a $234,000 reduction from a overall budget of $4,676,000.

      In order to achieve the necessary cuts, the park cut travel, training, overtime and supply purchases, and reduced the number and length of seasonal employee positions.

      Superintendent Dusty Schulz said, however, that the park "remains open, welcoming visitors and continuing to protect the resources entrusted to our care."

      The park has shortened 22 seasonal jobs and cut an additional five seasonal jobs.

      Also a part of the budget cuts are the following:

      -Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive will not open until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day.

      -Ranger programs, including environmental education programs for school groups, will not be available until Memorial Day Weekend and will cease after Labor Day.

      -Other than those at the Visitor Center and campgrounds, restrooms and trash cans will not be available until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day. This includes Manitou Islands.

      -Mowing of picnic areas and historic farmsteads will be sharply reduced.

      -Protection and monitoring of the endangered Piping Plover will be reduced, as will follow-up control of invasive plants such as black locust.

      Overall, park officials the budget cut will affect over 250,000 park visitors, including 10,000 school children.