Congress Passes First Lands Protections in Five Years

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- In a long-overdue move Congress today designated 32,500 acres of new wilderness along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore in Michigan. The designation is one of many broadly supported efforts that have languished as both the last Congress and the current Congress repeatedly failed to act on lands protection.

In response Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club's Lands Protection campaign, issued the following statement:

"We're pleased to see Congress finally moving to continue our country's proud conservation legacy. Thanks to today's action, paddlers, anglers and other recreationists will be able to enjoy the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore in its natural state for generations to come.

"In this 50th anniversary year of the Wilderness Act we hope that this will be just the beginning of lands protection efforts.  The last Congress was the first since World War II not to protect a single acre of wilderness.  As a result there are millions of acres and special places across the country that are still waiting for, and in need of, permanent protection.

"Wilderness areas, national parks, monuments and other protected public lands are part of what makes America so special.  We hope that in the coming year both Congress and the Obama administration will take additional steps to ensure our outdoor legacy lives on."

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

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