Federal Land

ELLENSBURG, WA - A 1.5-million acre swath of land surrounding Interstate 90, from Seattle to Ellensburg, is now a National Heritage Area, after the passage of the largest public-lands bill in more than a decade.

The wide-ranging, bipartisan bill that President Donald Trump signed into law Tuesday authorizes the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area, one of dozens of measures in the more than 660-page bill intended to bolster public lands and conservation across the country.

The new heritage area spans 2,400 miles and includes 28 cities and 1,600 miles of trails, according to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a lead sponsor of the legislation.

A National Heritage designation does not make the land a part of the National Parks system, and private land within the area is not affected. Rather, the designation makes it easier for the area to get technical assistance and federal grants from the National Park Service.

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