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Canyons Of The Ancients National Monument Will Be Expanded As Feds Buy 4,573 Acres Of Private Land

11/17/09 10:01 AM ET   AP

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DENVER — Federal officials plan to spend $11.7 million for about 5,000 acres of private land in national monuments, forests and recreation areas in three Western states.

The largest purchase announced Monday was for 4,573 acres in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwestern Colorado. The 166,000-acre monument, about 380 miles southwest of Denver, has the country's highest known density of archaeological sites.

The Interior and Agriculture departments also announced plans to buy 37 acres in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail corridor and 280 acres in the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, both in Montana.

Smaller parcels being purchased in Nevada are: seven acres in Nevada's Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area; 123 acres, the Huboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; seven acres, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area; and five acres next to the Mount Stirling Wilderness Study Area.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |