senate concurrent resolution no. 11

Senators Shink, Bayer, Polehanki, Cavanagh, Wojno, Geiss, Santana, McCann, Irwin and Cherry offered the following concurrent resolution:

A concurrent resolution to urge the United States Congress to designate the Ehlco Area, the Trap Hills, the Norwich Plains, and a 2,000-acre addition to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in Michiganís Upper Peninsula as federal Wilderness.

Whereas, The National Wilderness Preservation System, established under the Wilderness Act of 1964, is made up of more than 800 national Wilderness areas that are defined as areas ďwhere the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.Ē Federal Wilderness areas are designated by the United States Congress for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such a manner that will leave them unimpaired for their future use and enjoyment as Wilderness areas. It is the highest form of protection of any federal wildland; and

Whereas, The Ehlco Area, the Trap Hills, the Norwich Plains, and a 2,000-acre addition to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness together consist of approximately 51,000 acres of federal land in Michiganís Upper Peninsula. Home to numerous types of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wolves, beavers, moose, and other native fauna and flora, including rare and endangered species, these natural areas are among the most special, unique, and biodiverse areas within the state of Michigan; and

Whereas, The state of Michigan is a champion of environmental stewardship, boasting 16 federal Wilderness areas that cover over 291,300 acres. As some of the last areas in the state to meet the criteria for Wilderness designation, the Ehlco Area, the Trap Hills, the Norwich Plains, and the addition to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness deserve the protection afforded to formally designated Wilderness under the Wilderness Act. Designating areas as Wilderness preserves ecosystem diversity, offers robust support to native flora and fauna, and represents the most special land in the State; and

Whereas, Designating these four areas as federal Wilderness protects the region from environmental loss or destruction. Such a designation maintains habitats for wildlife and threatened species, protects forests that help to filter and clean the air we breathe, preserves watersheds so local communities can access clean water, and provides recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, that support local economies. Without this designation, the land remains open for commercial and other activities that can pollute, deforest, destroy habitats, and harm the land; and

Whereas, It is in the long-term environmental, economic, and recreational interests of Michiganís residents that the United States Congress designate the Ehlco Area, the Trap Hills, the Norwich Plains, and the addition to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness as federal Wilderness. These natural areas provide Michigan residents and nonresidents with vast opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, and other outdoor recreational activities, which are invaluable to Michiganís character and serve as the economic cornerstone of many Michigan communities. Such recreational activities generate 11.2 billion dollars for the state each year and support over 170,000 jobs. Designating land as federal Wilderness helps safeguard the health, happiness, and character of all Michiganders; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That we urge the United States Congress to designate the Ehlco Area, the Trap Hills, the Norwich Plains, and a 2,000-acre addition to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in Michiganís Upper Peninsula as federal Wilderness; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.