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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore celebrates 45th birthday

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore celebrated its 45th birthday Wednesday.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore celebrated its 45th birthday Wednesday.

Chippewa legend says Sleeping Bear Dunes got its name from the unfortunate events of a mother bear and her two cubs.

The National Park Service says a mother bear and her two cubs were driven to the lake by a forest fire that started along the Wisconsin shoreline. The bears swam for hours, but the cubs became tired and lagged behind. The mother bear reached the Michigan shoreline and climbed to the top of a high bluff to wait for her cubs. The cubs were to tired to continue and drowned within sign of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and created a single dune to represent the faithful mother bear.

Although the dunes have been around for much longer, the 1970 Establishment Act set aside the lakeshore for preservation of the natural resources and for public use, making it a National Lakeshore. Since then, the dunes have been enjoyed by many.

Sleeping Bear Dunes also has many research projects conducted in the park every year to help management make better planning, development, and conservation decisions. To view the current research projects, CLICK HERE.


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