Land stretching from Seattle to Ellensburg along the I-90 corridor is now one of the Pacific Northwest's first National Heritage Areas.
Approximately 1.5 million acres was designated as heritage land after President Donald Trump signed a public-lands bill into law.
The bill signed Tuesday creates five new national monuments and adds 1.3 million acres of new wilderness while reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund supports conservation and recreation projects throughout the country. It's the largest lands bill in a decade.
The new heritage area spans 2,400 square miles, includes 1.4 million residents in 28 cities, and 1,600 miles of trails.
As a heritage area, the land is now eligible for federal grants and can draw financial contributions from state, local, and private sectors. They are Congressional-designated partnerships between the National Park Service, state, and communities.
The bill does more than designate the heritage area in Washington state. A number of other public lands priorities include:
- Methow Headwaters Protection Act
- Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Phase III Act
- Wildfire Management Technology Advancement Act
- National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act
- Maritime Washington National Heritage Act
- Designates the Nordic Museum in Ballard as a national museum.