Case Anaylisis Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

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Case Analysis: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Stephen Brester
Ecology for Sustainable Management
SMGT 310
December 15, 2012

Executive Summary

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a vast area that is a unit of the National Park System and is also designated as a U.S. National Lakeshore. This park is located in Northwest Indiana, USA, on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. The park is comprised of over 15,000 acres of dunes, oak savannas, swamps, bogs, prairies, rivers, and forests. This park is a great example of a vast and unique environment resulting from the retreat of the last great continental glacier some 14,000 years ago. (1) This park is also located within an urban setting and is closely located to the highly populated industrialized cities of Gary, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. Early, overharvesting of forests and farming impacted the area’s ecology and resources. Residential and industrial developments over time coupled with climate change have altered natural processes for the environment. Today the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has a challenge associated with balancing impacts of human actions within fragile natural environments. Restoration plans by resource managers for the area have been focused on mitigating the damage done in the past. The key in restoring the area is planning for the future, limiting new developments, and considering future climate will help aid in the restoration.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established by Congress as a national lakeshore in 1966. (2) Prior to industrial and residential development along Lake Michigan, the shoreline was comprised of a highly diverse landscape. This area is considered one of the most extensive geologic records of the glacial period in the creation of the Great Lakes area. Biological diversity is one of the most important…...

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