(CBS4) –  The U.S. House of Representatives could approve a new wilderness protection package this week. It includes more than 600,000 acres of land in Colorado.

The legislation would permanently protect 1.3 million acres of federal land across Colorado, California and Washington.

(credit: CBS)

It could be the largest wilderness protection package to advance through the chamber in more than a decade.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette is one of the lead sponsors of the legislation.

Diana DeGette

Diana DeGette (credit: CBS)

“The urgency now is that so many new people are moving to Colorado. These lands are under threat of oil and gas drilling or of minerals, and they’re still so pristine. They’re the most pristine, beautiful areas we have left. So that’s why its so urgent right now,” she said.

If passed, low-to-mid elevation areas in Colorado, including Handies Peak and Dolores River Canyon, would be under the highest level of land protection available.

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