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Hard to beat
January 15, 2009 - Blaine Hyska
U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak has shown again why he will be hard to beat — in any election. Recent news reports announced the U.S. Senate’s approval of a new legislation creating more than 2 million acres in Michigan and eight other states as wilderness. The proposal includes 11,739 acres in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior in Upper Peninsula. The collection of about 160 bills is the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years. Left-leaning lawmakers generally read “protection” as a good thing. Legislators on the right side of the aisle usually take “protection’ to mean “more restrictions.” Stupak wisely wants local endorsement of the project before it gets his vote. So far, Munising officials oppose the wilderness designation. Stupak told the Marquette Mining Journal he won’t support the measure when it reaches the House without endorsements of the wilderness designation from Alger County or the city of Munising. “I have supported and will continue to support maintaining public access to public lands, and oppose efforts to restrict access,” Stupak said. Stupak said a number of concerns have been raised about public access to the more than 245,000 acres of federally-designated wilderness areas across the Upper Peninsula. “I am not inclined to support new wilderness designations until the impacted communities have the assurances they need to support such proposals,” Stupak said. Spoken like a true representative of the people.
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