Thursday, June 09, 2011

Utah, Alaska and Wyoming to pursue wild lands lawsuit

Utah officials said Tuesday that they will continue to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government over a public-lands policy withdrawn last week by the U.S. Interior Department. Also Tuesday, the governors in Alaska and Wyoming said they won't withdraw a request to join the lawsuit until the policy is formally rescinded by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Because the next steps for Interior officials seeking greater protections for public lands are unclear, the lawsuit needs to remain on the table, said Gov. Gary Herbert's spokeswoman, Ally Isom. Utah officials claim the policy hurts the state's economy and circumvents state efforts to determine what lands should be protected. "It's an ongoing conversation, but there's still uncertainty about the policy," Isom said. "There's still some hope based on the statements made by the federal officials ... but at this point, we are still pursuing it."...more

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