HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – Ten years of in-depth planning has come together with the release of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Isle Royale National Park Cultural Resource Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (CRMP/EA).

According to the NPS, the plan provides a long-term comprehensive strategy for managing the non-wilderness cultural resources of the park. The final Plan and FONSI are available at here.

Presented with three alternatives from the CRMP/EA, the NPS selected Alternative B as the proposed action.  

“We are excited to move forward with robust partnerships to implement high priority projects to preserve cultural resources and benefit future generations of park visitors,” commented Park Superintendent, Denice Swanke.

Elements of the Plan include the following: 

  • Emphasis on restoration of historic structures and cultural landscapes. 
  • Additional visitor opportunities, such as volunteer work and access to cultural landscapes. 
  • Increased efforts to document and understand the use and importance of Ojibwe fishing and lifeways at Isle Royale. 
  • Work with tribes to enhance or revive relationships with Isle Royale.   
  • Adaptive reuse of historic structures and cultural landscapes on Barnum and Washington Islands. 
  • Restoration of the historic Rock Harbor Guesthouse to function as a hostel or similar overnight lodging facility. 
  • Establishment of scientific and/or demonstration fisheries at the Edisen Fishery and Washington Island. 
  • Support for transfer of ownership of the Isle Royale and Passage Island Lighthouses from the US Coast Guard to the NPS. 
  • Restoration and rehabilitation of landscapes, exteriors, and interiors of all four lighthouses to allow and encourage visitor access. 
  • Enhanced interpretation of historic copper mining sites. 
  • Research information gaps in the Park’s archeological record. 
  • Development of the Lake Superior Collections Management Center in Calumet, Michigan, as a multi-park museum storage and research facility, to include Isle Royale museum collections.