Seney Wildlife Refuge seeks public comment | News, Sports, Jobs


By Escanaba Daily

press-staff

SENEY — Seney National Wildlife Refuge is requesting public input on an environmental assessment regarding the proposal to complete structural improvements to the existing historic wildlife observation and picnic shelter, located approximately 2.5 miles north of Germfask, on the west side of M-77.

The structure traditionally known as “the Wigwams” was renamed the Show Pool Shelter in 2018. The Show Pool Shelter was completed in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration.

It currently sits on 1.4 acres which includes picnic tables, grills, a pit toilet, information kiosks and foot trails. The rustic architecture reflects the initial development period of the refuge and is a significant contribution to the refuge’s eligibility as a potential historic district.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has been awarded funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to improve the shelter and public access area.

The purpose of this proposal is to give consideration to the potential impacts to the structure’s historical integrity, as plans are made to repair it.

With the already existing need for structural repairs, the project provides an opportunity to simultaneously improve the usefulness of the structure, enhance wildlife viewing opportunities and visitor experience, as well as give consideration to the appropriateness of the original architecture.

The Environmental Assessment outlines three possible outcomes for the structures:

≤ No action alternative

≤ Repair the structure to be repaired as is

≤ Preferred alternative – Remove the two cone-shaped roof tops and walls that were originally designed to resemble teepees and replace them with a roof to create a more inclusive recreational facility which will better facilitate wildlife viewing opportunities

≤ Third alternative – Remove the top piece of the cone-shaped roof tops, but maintain the existing walls and restore open wildlife viewing windows in the sides of the structure

The public is invited to review the environmental assessment and provide comment.

Public comments will be accepted for 45 days beginning July 25, 2022 and ending September 8, 2022.

You can read the full draft environmental assessment online or pick up a copy at the temporary visitor center.

A summary of the alternatives for the draft environmental assessment is also available online. Visitor center hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm

Email comments to Sara_Siekierski@fws.gov or mail comments to Seney National Wildlife Refuge; 1674 Refuge Entrance Road, Seney, MI 49883. Once an alternative is selected the design plans will be finalized.

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