Press Release Mar 4, 2014

Parks Group Applauds Passage of Bills to Protect Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Glacier National Park

Statements by Lynn McClure, NPCA Senior Midwest Regional Director and Michael Jamison, NPCA Glacier Program Manager

Update: On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act into law.

Background: Two bills passed this evening by the U.S. House of Representatives will increase protections to two National Park System units, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshoreand Glacier National Park. Both bills are bipartisan and the result of decades of work. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act (S. 23) would designate over 32,000 acres as wilderness – the highest level of conservation provided to federal public lands. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013 (HR 2259) would better protect the watershed outside Glacier National Park by formally withdrawing the area from future oil and gas leasing. S. 23 has passed the U.S. Senate and now goes to President Obama for his signature. HR 2259 has a companion bill awaiting approval in the U.S. Senate.

Statement by Lynn McClure on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act
“Due to a strong bi-partisan effort – supported by the entire Michigan delegation – today Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will have more than 32,000 new acres of wilderness. The endeavor to establish wilderness in this iconic national park on Lake Michigan has been in the works since 1981. Today’s designation, a result of strong public participation, will preserve visitor access and hunting and fishing opportunities, while protecting the fragile dunes, bluffs, and forest in the park. We thank Senator Carl Levin and Representative Dan Benishek for their leadership and ongoing support for Sleeping Bear Dunes, and thank this Congress for designating the first new wilderness area since 2009.”

Click here to view the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act.

Statement by Michael Jamison on the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013
“By ushering this important and long-awaited legislation safely through the House of Representatives, Rep. Steve Daines has made a powerful and bipartisan statement: he has proved that serving as responsible stewards to places such as Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake absolutely transcends party politics. This legislation defends our source of revenue and recreation – the place where we hunt and hike and fish, where we harvest timber and graze livestock. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act has the support of hunters and anglers, cities, counties, Chambers of Commerce, the region’s largest employers, and even the giants of America’s energy sector. It was created by locals, and represents decades of work by neighbors on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian line. It protects not just our landscape and our lifestyle, but also our livelihood.”

Click here to view the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013.

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About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.