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Legislation Would Ban State-Designated “Biodiversity Areas”

Michigan's Capitol building.
File photo

There’s a hearing this week in Lansing on legislation that would stop the state from setting aside hundreds of acres strictly for the purpose of nurturing native plants and animals.

Opponents and supporters of the legislation packed a hearing last week on the measure, which also scrubs a finding that most natural habitat loss is due to human activity.

Democratic state Senator Rebekah Warren says she can’t support the ban on biodiversity areas.

“To do away with that designation, to me, is a big step backwards in the protection of what makes Michigan ‘Pure Michigan,'”  Warren says.

“What’s the balance here because right now they’ve got a lot of tools to do exactly what they’re trying to do here," says Republican state Senator Tom Casperson. "Why this one?”

Casperson says more access to trees, wildlife, minerals and other natural resources could help create business opportunities and jobs.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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