Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, introduced a House bill Thursday to put most of Wasatch-Cache and Uinta national forests near Salt Lake City into a new Wasatch National Recreation Area.

Saying that lands around the Salt Lake Valley are more heavily used per capita than Yellowstone National Park, Owens called for more federal money to be used in the region to develop recreation potential.

His bill carries no additional federal funds, but it would, he said, make the new recreation area eligible for money under regular recreation appropriations.

The measure would not, Owens said, change any current uses of the national forests. The U.S. agriculture secretary would be directed to manage hunting, fishing and other activities for the national forests.