LAS VEGAS (AP) — Federal land managers want to triple the amount of desert set aside just north of Las Vegas for the study of extinct mammoth and ground sloth fossils, sensitive plant species and cultural resources.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Friday it intends to make some 10,670 acres in the Upper Las Vegas Wash off-limits to developers.

The agency decided that a little more than 4 square miles is suitable for sale and development. That’s about 20 percent of the 13,000-acre study area.

Environmentalists backing creation of a national monument in the area are welcoming the decision.

The bureau released an environmental statement after years of study and public input on what it calls boundary adjustments to the 5,000-acre conservation zone.

The decision could be final in 30 days.


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