Gorgeous wilderness area – first to be designated by Congress in five years

Photo by xray10, flickr

Photo by xray10, flickr

Who knew there were sand dunes in Michigan?  And such beautiful wilderness!

This week Congress passed and sent to President Obama for his signature the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act, which permanently protects 32,557 acres along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan. This newest addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System will be known as “Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness,” which includes portions of two islands, forests, miles of beach and spectacular sand dunes rising hundreds of feet above Lake Michigan.

Photo by Dee, flickr

Photo by Dee, flickr

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act which has allowed us to protect beautiful pristine wild places – over 109 million acres – from development. That’s more than 750 wilderness areas from coast to coast.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness  was called “the most beautiful place in the country,” by ABC’s Good Morning America in 2011. It encompasses 35 miles of Lake Michigan beaches, is a haven for 240 species of birds and a myriad of wildlife and is spectacularly picturesque. Let’s hope that the creation of this new wilderness is a signal that at least some members of Congress see the value of preserving Nature at its finest.

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