Indiana Dunes National Park Bill Finds Opposition

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore) (photo courtesy Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore)

A bipartisan effort to designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as a national park is receiving opposition from the Trump administration. In written testimony released Wednesday, Deputy Director Daniel Smith says the redesignation "would be inconsistent with the National Park Services' naming conventions for different types of park units."

Two bills are currently being considered by Congress to make the change. House Resolution 1488 has already received unanimous approval from the U.S. House of Representatives. A companion bill, Senate Bill 599, co-sponsored by Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (R-IN) is currently in the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks.

Smith says the current designation for the Indiana Dunes is appropriate and in line with the National Park Services' efforts to provide consistency in the naming of park units. 

"Our preference is that the designation of 'national park' be reserved for units that contain a variety of resources and encompass large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of the resources, and that in general, similar types of units have consistent designations," Smith said. "Indiana Dunes has more in common with the other Great Lakes national lakeshores—Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes— and with the National Park System’s many other national seashores and national recreation areas, than with most national parks. Indiana Dunes is the smallest of the four lakeshore units, and the only one of the four that does not include any designated wilderness."

Smith says the department does support, however, another provision of H.R. 1488, which redesignates the Miller-Woods Trail inside the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as the "Paul H. Douglas Trail." 

Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Donnelly remains hopeful the legislation will be approved by the Senate despite the opposition from the administration. Young spokesperson Jay Kenworthy tells the publication the senator was disappointed by the testimony.

"He has reached out for more clarity on the position and will work with the administration to address any concerns they may have," Kenworthy said.

You can read the full written testimony from Smith below:

  • Perspectives

    • The First Thing Nonprofit Boards Should Focus On: Member Engagement

      There is no shortage of literature on how to run a nonprofit and what the board of directors should be doing. Do a quick search for “grant writing advice” or “board meeting agenda” and you will easily find hundreds of resources. But if there is so much helpful information around, why is serving on a nonprofit board sometimes so draining? After founding two nonprofits, Musical Family Tree and the Speak Easy, as well as serving on several nonprofit boards...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Hammond Pulls 135 Jobs from Illinois

      A Hammond factory recently vacated by Michigan-based Lear Corp. didn’t sit empty for very long. Midland Metal Products has taken over the former seat factory, having relocated from Chicago after 95 years. 

    • (photo courtesy of TriCore Logic)

      Fort Wayne IT Firm Expanding

      TriCore Logic has announced plans to expand its office space and staff at its downtown Fort Wayne headquarters. The company plans to invest over $200,000 in the expansions. The 2010-founded company moved to the Anthony Wayne building in 2013, and now plan to grow their staff of five employees by up to eight over the next four years. 

    • (courtesy Wes Mills)

      Purdue: Farmland Values Decline Fifth Straight Year

      The value of top-quality farmland in Indiana has declined continuing a five-year trend, according to the latest data from Purdue University.  The statewide average of the best cropland is $8,212 per acre, down more than five percent, or $456 per acre, from the same period last year. Purdue’s survey shows average and poor-quality farmland values also dropped, but not as much. Average quality farmland declined by 0.9 percent. Purdue says the poor...

    • ‘Transformation’ Continues in Westfield

      Indiana’s fastest growing city is showing no signs of slowing down.  Mayor Andy Cook says now that Westfield has established itself as a destination for family sports with the Grand Park Sports Campus, the $35 million Grand Junction Plaza will transform the city’s downtown into a destination, a place “where people want to be.”   Cook says the project, more than a decade in the making, is an example of a place making strategy necessary for Midwest...
    • Elanco is headquartered in Greenfield.

      Elanco to Acquire Bayer AG Animal Health Business

      Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) has entered into an agreement with Bayer AG (ETR: BAYN) to acquire its animal health business in a deal valued at $7.6 billion. If approved, it would double Elanco’s Companion Animal business and create the second-largest animal health company by revenue. “Joining Elanco and Bayer Animal Health strengthens and accelerates our IPP strategy, transforms our portfolio with the addition of well-known pet brands, brings...