Chesterton Tribune



Public can speak out on Little Calumet River plan

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The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing a draft Environmental Assessment for the “East Branch of the Little Calumet River Use Management Plan” for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and is seeking public comment.

This document is a collaborative effort of NPS, the U.S., Forest Service, and the Urban Waters Initiative to explore and evaluate a full range of recreational opportunities and the environmental impacts of those activities on the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, which flows inside the boundaries of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The draft Environmental Assessment is being prepared to ensure that the National Lakeshore reviews all impacts and opportunities related to recreational use of the Little Calumet River prior to deciding on a course of action.

For the purpose of this plan the portion of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River which lies within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was divided into four sections (referred to as reaches) based upon the boundaries of the National Lakeshore and environmental conditions:

* Reach 1 extends through the Heron Rookery (River Mile 16.4 to River Mile 14.8).

* Reach 2 extends from U.S. Highway 20 to Indiana State Road 149 (River Mile 7.7 to River Mile 4.5).

* Reach 3 extends from Indiana Ind. 149 to the Izaak Walton Property (River Mile 4.5 to River Mile 1.6).Ę

* Reach 4 extends from the Burns Waterway Small Boat Harbor to Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (River Mile 1.0 to River Mile 0).

“All alternatives developed will meet park purposes and objectives while protecting park resources by minimizing impacts, and will be consistent with the legislative intent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, applicable NPS laws, policies, and regulations,” NPS said.

The National Lakeshore will host a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center at 1215 Ind. 49 in Porter. That meeting will feature a brief presentation, informational displays, and a question and answer session.

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, a copy of the draft Environmental Assessment for the East Branch of the Little Calumet River Use Management Plan will be available for review on line starting on June 11 at


Posted 6/4/2014