On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed legislation designating 32,557 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan as Wilderness, the first congressional designation under the Wilderness Act since 2009.
"President Obama and Congress have given the American people a priceless gift by ensuring that this extraordinary landscape with its towering sand dunes and bluffs will be preserved forever as wild and primitive," said Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. "Hikers, anglers, paddlers and others who venture into this wilderness will find it just as the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes have for the past 3,000 years - a place of quiet solitude, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife.
The Wilderness Act, signed into law in 1964 and celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary this year, established the highest level of conservation protection for federal lands. Wilderness areas generally do not allow motorized equipment, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, temporary roads, permanent structures or installation. Visitors can engage in non-motorized recreation in Wilderness areas, including hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting.