President Obama signs Sleeping Bear Dunes legislation into law

Natural features, county roads, lake access and hunting and fishing are protected under this legislation.

Thousands of acres of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are now protected under federal law.

President Obama signed legislation Thursday that designates about 32,500 acres of the lakeshore as "wilderness areas".

That means the natural features of the area will be preserved, as well as county roads, historical structures, and lake access.

The right to hunt and fish in designated wilderness areas is specifically protected as well.

U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Iron County, sponsored the bill.

"With the dunes contributing over $150 million to our local economy and supporting thousands of jobs, this is a great day for Northern Michigan," Dr. Benishek said.

Sleeping Bear Dunes contributes $158 million into the area's economy and supports 2,800 jobs.