Senate Bill 78 would prevent the Department of Natural Resources from setting aside an area of land specifically for the purpose of maintaining biological diversity (in essence, to protect the variety of plants and animals that live in an area). If the bill passes, the DNR could not make or enforce a rule to do that. That oversight would come from the Legislature.

Professor Bradley Cardinale (EEB/School of Natural Resources and Environment) said areas with more biodiversity offer all kinds of benefits for people and wildlife. He said this bill doesn’t consider benefits.

“And all of the language is essentially arguing that we need to give people higher priority to have access to the land, to be able to extract resources from the land.”

Consider attending the hearing on SB 78 to testify, scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 in Room 210 Farnum Building, 125 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, Mich. Or you can email your Michigan state senator to express your opinion on SB 78 in case it comes up for vote. This bill is similar to one Senator Casperson introduced last fall, SB 1276. Sign up for committee notices on the Michigan Legislative website.

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