- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The National Park Service has released a plan that recommends adding more than 265 square miles of land around Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area.

The final plan, released Tuesday, would more than double the existing wilderness area in one of the nation’s most densely populated regions.

It would add portions of the Los Angeles River, San Gabriel Mountains foothills, scenic areas, historic and archaeological sites, wildlife corridors and miles of hiking trails in a sprawling area that’s home to millions.

The final plan differs from last year’s draft proposal by eliminating some industrialized or urbanized areas in favor of more pristine properties. Much of the additional land is undeveloped, vacant or protected.

The recommendation was sent to Congress to decide whether to approve expansion.

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