The Maryland Senate unanimously approved Friday a major expansion of the state's network of legally protected wildlands.

The O'Malley administration bill would create nine new wildlands and expand 14 existing sites already set aside because they harbor rare plants and animals or other natural features. Development, motor vehicles and even bicycles are barred in wildlands, but hiking, hunting, fishing and horseback riding are allowed.

The measure now goes to the House.

tim.wheeler@baltsun.com