Protecting the Sleeping Bear Dunes

WASHINGTON, DC:   Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) announced that the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a Congressional hearing this summer on his legislation
to protect the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

“Northern Michigan is very fortunate to be home to this extraordinary stretch of
shoreline. Frankly, this bill is a common sense approach to protecting an amazing
part of our state for future generations to enjoy. I am looking forward to speaking
at the upcoming hearing and continuing to fight to get this bill passed and delivered
to President Obama’s desk,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon and lifelong resident
of Northern Michigan.

Dr. Benishek’s legislation would designate approximately 32,500 acres of the Sleeping
Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as “wilderness” areas. This bill 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.
Several members of the Michigan Congressional delegation, including Representatives
Camp, Huizenga, Rogers, Upton, and Walberg have also signed on as original cosponsors
of Dr. Benishek’s legislation.

“I’ve lived in Northern Michigan my entire life, so I know just how important it
is to safeguard our state’s natural beauty while at the same time maintain access
to our lands for hunters, trappers, and fishermen.  This bill does exactly that,”
added Dr. Benishek.

In 2011, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was named by ABC’s “Good Morning
America” as the most beautiful place in America.  Last year, over 1.4 million people
visited Sleeping Bear Dunes, accounting for about $120 million in local spending
and supporting 2,000 jobs.