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TUCSON, Ariz. — Legislation introduced this week by Rep. Raul Grijalva calls for expanding the boundary of the Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona.

Reps. Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick are co-sponsoring the measure.

This year's version of the bill seeks to expand the park's boundaries to include nearly four square miles that officials have identified as important for resource values and ecological characteristics.

Officials say the addition would create a permanent wildlife corridor to the Santa Cruz River from the park through the Sweetwater Preserve.

Grijalva says the park is one of the things that make Tucson and southern Arizona a special place to live.

The park draws more than 600,000 visitors a year.

Under the legislation, the National Park Service would gain the authority to acquire private parcels of land through donation, trade or purchase.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Associated Press,

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