Courtesy: Dr. Dan Benishek’s Office
Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) will join in the dedication of the Sleeping Bear Wilderness near Empire, Michigan Friday. Dr. Benishek has played a major role in passing legislation that will protect and preserve Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
“The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a treasure in Northern Michigan and is a vital part of our way of life and economy. It has been an honor to work with so many to help shepherd this legislation through Congress and keep the pristine waters and beaches at Sleeping Bear protected and open to the public,” Dr. Benishek, a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan, said.
Over a million visitors from around the world come to see the dunes and surrounding lakes each year, contributing over $132 million in consumer spending. The dunes also support more than 2,000 jobs in Northern Michigan alone. The newly passed law will designate approximately 32,500 acres of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as “wilderness” areas. It ensures that natural features of the area will be preserved, while protecting county roads, historical structures, and access to recreation and enjoyment of the lake. The right to hunt and fish in designated wilderness areas
is specifically protected in this legislation.
“This legislation has been over a decade in the making and reflects the work of thousands of local community members from across the Grand Traverse region. It was done the right way, by local citizens, and is something we should all be proud of. The efforts by these great Michiganders to keep access to the beaches open have been truly remarkable and I commend them,” added Dr. Benishek.
Dr. Benishek is the only member of the Michigan delegation serving on the House Committee on Natural Resources. He worked with members on both sides of the aisle to help pass the Sleeping Bear Dunes legislation.