LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Air Force wants to extend a training area onto a portion of the 1.6 million acres that make up the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports a 5 p.m. public hearing in North Lags Vegas on Oct. 20 wraps up a series of meetings to get input from residents.

Defense Department plans announced in August expand the Nevada Test and Training Range by more than 300,000 acres.

About 278,000 acres are on part of the biggest wildlife refuge in the Lower 48 and Hawaii.

Refuge officials are worried about wildlife and public access.

Air Force civilian project manager Mike Ackerman says the expansion would allow faster, higher-altitude training exercises that more closely resemble real life.

Congress isn’t expected to vote on the proposal before 2018.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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