Bills re-introduced for wilderness in Washington and Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Flikr creative commons: jkdevleer04

Legislators from Washington state and Michigan introduced bills this week that would give greater protections to Washington's Alpine Lakes area and Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act (S. 23/H.R. 163) would designate approximately 32,557 acres along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan and on nearby island coastlines as wilderness, permanently protecting it for all Americans. The new addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System would be known as ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness’.

The bill was proposed in the House on  Jan. 4 by Rep. Dan Benishek and in the Senate on Jan. 22 by Sen. Carl Levin. 

Fun facts about Sleeping Bear Dunes:

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes was voted as America’s most beautiful place on Good Morning America

  • A slice of tranquility along the coast of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes is known for the gorgeous sunsets over towering dunes. 

  • Some of the bluffs at Sleeping Bear Dunes stretch more than 400 feet above the shore. 

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

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Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions

This broadly supported, bipartisan bill would add protections for 22,000 acres of wilderness lands and nearly 30 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers outside the Seattle metro area in Washington.

Representatives Dave Reichert and Suzan DelBene and Sen. Murray reintroduced the Alpine Lakes Additions Wilderness bill Jan. 24. The Wilderness Society has been working with Congressman Reichert on this bill since 2007. 

Both of these bills were also introduced during the last Congress, but the 112th Congress remarkably failed to protect a single acre of wilderness. The quick re-introduction of these bills shows that despite being stymied for the last two years, demand for wilderness is continuing to build, and we hope will find a way to break through the legislative dam in the 113th Congress.

Please lend us your support in continuing to advocate for beautiful lands a/nd the habitats, recreation opportunities and many other benefits they provide.

Photo:The  Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Area would be protected as wilderness under Reichert's bill. 

Photo by: flickr, becotopia