The Wilderness Society Praises First Wilderness Designation in 5 Years

Mar 13, 2014
President Obama Signs Bill Protecting Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness

The Wilderness Society’s president, Jamie Williams, responds to President Obama’s signing today of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act, which protects 32,557 acres along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan. It is the first wilderness area approved by Congress in five years.

“The Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness is a great example of Congress and the President responding in a bipartisan way to local efforts to preserve these incredible lands for outdoor recreation and their scenic beauty. This is an important step, but more public lands bills like Sleeping Bear Dunes deserve support as well. In this 50th anniversary year of the Wilderness Act, we urge Congress to quickly approve protection of these special places so future generations can enjoy the values that wilderness provides to our nation, including clean water, vital wildlife habitat and a boost to the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy.”

-- Jamie Williams, President

The Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness area includes portions of two islands, forests, and miles of beach and sand dunes rising hundreds of feet above Lake Michigan. This land will be safe for all time so visitors can enjoy hiking, camping and fishing in this unique and incredibly special place. The Wilderness Society also urges action on more than two dozen similar wilderness bills with strong local support that require approval by Congress to achieve the protection they deserve.

Michael Reinemer