WHITEFISH POINT


What Whitefish Point means to people:

Whitefish Point is a hauntingly beautiful place with agate beaches and passing ships. It evokes strong passions in many people for different reasons.

People in Whitefish Township have a direct living link to the Whitefish Point Light Station that is part of their culture and heritage

Whitefish Point is a major migratory flyway. It includes the Whitefish Point National Wildlife Refuge. Thousands of bird watchers come to Whitefish Point every year. The Michigan Audubon Society holds the property at Whitefish Point used by the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory to conduct research and bird counts.

The Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve includes many shipwrecks. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society has a controversial past with the shipwrecks of Whitefish Point.

The wreck of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald lies about 17 miles from Whitefish Point. Whitefish Point holds special meaning to family members of the crew of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald because the bell is displayed at Whitefish Point as their memorial.

 


Controversy about Whitefish Point:

The property of the Whitefish Point Light Station was transferred from the U. S. Coast Guard to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society [GLSHS], and the Michigan Audubon Society [MAS] by federal legislation (P.L. 104-324) in 1996. GLSHS and MAS hold federal land patents for the property that was divided among the three stakeholders. GLSHS holds the property that includes the Whitefish Point Light Station. These federal land patents include reversionary clauses that will cause the properties to revert back to the U.S. government if any term of the patents is violated. This web site will document that GLSHS violated the terms of its patent many times over many years.

Government agencies such as the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U. S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Department of Interior hold extensive records about Whitefish Point. Two lawsuits culminated in a controversial plan called the Human Use/Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point in 2002 that is intended to govern land use.

Whitefish Point Light Station
7/23/07
Whitefish Point Light Station
4/01/07
Whitefish Point Beach July 2007



The following major concerns about Whitefish Point are unsolved:

1. Testing the groundwater and cleanup of any fecal contaminants and hazardous substances found in the ground water.

2. Efficient use of current buildings before any further expansion, development, or commercialization takes place at Whitefish Point. (See page 55 of the Human Use/Natural Resource Management Plan)

3. A Section 106 review with full public participation so that the historical degradation of the Whitefish Point Light Station is halted and corrected.

4. Parking control—Whitefish Point has a limited area already over used. Heavy use days cause traffic hazards and septic overflows. Parking along the Whitefish Point Road is prohibited by a traffic control order and a bike path. One solution proposed in the Human Use/Natural Resource Plan for Whitefish Point calls for off-site parking in the town of Paradise. It is still the best proposed solution.

5. Responsible stewardship by stakeholders that includes crowd control by developing a trail system, a sewage system that can handle peak tourism days, and prevention of snowmobile access on fragile dunes.

6. Revoke the GLSHS federal land patent and transfer the Whitefish Point Light Station to a legitimate historical society.

 

Whitefish Point
National Wildlife Refuge




Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Bird Counting Hut at
Whitefish Point

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