A Senate bill that will likely be considered later this week will protect 11,739 acres of wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The land–located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore–is part of the park’s Beaver Basin Wilderness. Congressional designation of the area as a wilderness was one part of a 2004 general management plan for the park, but it was stalled during the Bush years.
The measure was introduced in the Senate by Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and is being attached to a larger land bill that seeks the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years. Overall, the package of 160 bills being considered by the Senate will expand protections over 2 million acres of wilderness.
Senate Democrats say that the combined bill only includes measures that had previously gained bipartisan support but that were stalled by the Republican controlled Senate. Republicans have criticized Democrats for refusing to allow amendments on the measure.