National Park Service proposes changes at Isle Royale
Aug 08, 2018 12:08PM ● Published by Editor
The welcome sign at Windigo on Isle Royale National Park - Photo by Rhonda Silence
Story by Rhonda Silence of WTIP - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 1:45 pm
The National Park Service is considering changes to the quiet Windigo visitor center at Isle Royale National Park. The park service is working on a concept plan and environmental assessment for upgraded and new facilities at the 400-acre Windigo complex.
The Park Service says the changes are necessary due to a recent increase in visitors, which is stressing the capacity of the existing facilities. According to the Park Service, visitors to Isle Royale have increased by approximately 87 percent over the last three years. Isle Royale hosts between 15,000 – 20,000 visitors per year.
Approximately 90 percent of Isle Royale is wilderness, so there is a sense of remoteness upon arrival at Windigo. Because of this, the park service proposal notes that visitors don’t have the sense that they have arrived at a national park.
The proposal calls for necessary structural and utility repairs, such as replacement of the aging concession store building and aging septic system, fire suppression improvements, enhanced trails and relocation of the small access road to the dock.
The plan also calls for aesthetic improvements, such as expanded space for displays at the visitor center, better interpretive signage on trails, changing the appearance of the facilities, which are a mix of architectural styles and clearing vegetation obscuring the view of facilities.
In addition, the plan calls for construction of up to four new camper cabins and the relocation of a cabin from Johns Island as a new interpretive site.
The Park Service is accepting comments now until August 20. Click here for more information.
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Liz Valencia, chief of interpretation and cultural resources at Isle Royale National Park, about the concept plan.
Follow this link to WTIP's site to listen to the interview: