ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Representative Dave Reichert has introduced a bill that would designate a stretch of scenic landscape from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway encompasses about 1.5 million acres of forests, peaks and wilderness that stretches along Interstate 90 from central Washington to the Puget Sound.

Reichert said at a news conference in Issaquah, Wash., Tuesday that the designation would help preserve an important piece of the state's heritage.

National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress as places of national distinction because of its natural, historical and cultural resources. The designation encourages residents, government agencies and others to preserve the landscape.