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E-M:/ APOSTLE ISLANDS WILDERNESS NEEDS YOUR HELP



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Enviro-Mich message from "Eric Uram" <eric.uram@sierraclub.org>
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apologies for any cross-postings.................

The National Park Service is seeking comment on whether to
propose wilderness designation for Wisconsin's Apostle Islands
National Lakeshore.  The Park Service has managed Ninety-seven
percent of the Lakeshore as wilderness for over a decade.
Wilderness designation would ensure permanent protection of the
wild and primitive nature of the islands.  Your comments are
needed by Jan. 15, 2002:

BACKGROUND

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is situated at the northern
tip of Wisconsin, with more than 20 wild and remote islands
surrounded by the waters of Lake Superior.  Each island is
unique: old-growth forests, vast sea caves, red sandstone cliffs,
and one of the greatest concentrations of black bears in North
America characterize this remarkable landscape.

Created by Congress in 1970, the Lakeshore is managed by the
National Park Service and also includes 12 miles of picturesque
white sand beaches on the mainland.  Sea kayaking from island to
island is enormously popular.

WILDERNESS QUALITIES

The Lakeshore's 1989 General Management Plan recognized that 97%
of the Apostle Islands had wilderness characteristics and
required those lands to be managed as wilderness until completion
of a wilderness suitability study.

No money was available for the study until 2001, when Wisconsin
Senator Russ Feingold persuaded Congress to earmark funds in the
Interior Appropriations Bill.  The study will focus on whether
and where wilderness should be designated in the Apostles.

Wilderness should be designated in the Apostles for the following
reasons:

·At present, the National Park Service manages pristine areas in
the Apostles as wilderness.  But that management may not be
permanent and could change as political winds change.  The only
way to ensure it continues is for the Congress to statutorily
designate the areas as wilderness under the Wilderness Act of
1964. Wilderness designation would guarantee that the Lakeshore’s
resources will remain unchanged for present and future
generations. According to the Park Service, many people have
expressed satisfaction with the way that the park is currently
managed.  Wilderness designation will make sure it continues.

·Access to the islands would not change.  There is no large
external boundary encompassing all the Lakeshore’s islands.  The
Lakeshore’s boundary extends only one-quarter mile from the
shores of each of the islands, so the creation of quiet zones
would be impossible.  Thus, there is little chance that the
waters would be included in a wilderness proposal, meaning that
boaters would retain access to the islands.  Additionally, the
Lakeshores’ historic attractions, including its lighthouses,
because they are man-made features, have already been deemed
unsuitable for wilderness designation.

·Wilderness designation would satisfy the conditions the
Wisconsin legislature stipulated in donating its lands to the
federal government.  The legislature stipulated that the Apostles
be managed in a way that preserves their unique primitive and
wilderness character.

TAKE ACTION

The Sierra Club and many of its conservation partners are working
to secure Wilderness designation for the Lakeshore.  But we need
your help.

·Please tell the Superintendent of the Apostle Islands National
Lakeshore that you want permanent wilderness protection for the
areas of the Lakeshore identified as possessing wilderness
qualities. Fax or mail your own comments by January 15 directly
to the address below.   In addition to the points below, please
include any personal wilderness experience you might have had in
the Apostles:

·Wilderness designation would ensure that the Lakeshore's
resources would continue to be protected for present and future
generations.

·Access to the islands would not change, as the Lakeshore's
boundaries extend only a quarter of a mile from the islands'
shores.  Because quiet zones could not be created, the waters are
unlikely to be included in any Wilderness proposal, meaning
boaters would retain access to the islands.

·Finally, when the state of Wisconsin donated the land to the
federal government, the state legislature stipulated that the
land be managed to preserve its unique primitive and wilderness
character.  Wilderness designation would satisfy that
requirement.

Send your comments to:
John Neal, Superintendent
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Route 1, Box 4, Bayfield, WI  54814
FAX: 715-779-3049

EMAIL: None available -- because of an unrelated legal case, all
email to the National
Park Service is temporarily shut down.

For additional information check
Eric Uram
Sierra Club Midwest Office
214 North Henry Street Suite 203
Madison, WI  53703-2200
(608) 257-4994 office
(608) 257-3513 fax
(608) 347-8008 mobile
eric.uram@sierraclub.org




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