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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Utah earmarks $4.5 million for federal land grab attempt

In this April 24, 2014 photo,  Pueblo III-period cliff dwellings created by the Anasazi or Ancestral Puebloan peoples between 1150 and 1300 A.D. in Recapture Canyon near Blanding,  in Utah. The Bureau of Land Management  closed it to motorized use in 2007. Recapture Canyon is home to dwellings, artifacts and burials left behind by Ancestral Puebloans hundreds of years ago before they mysteriously disappeared.   Environmentalists and Native Americans say the ban is needed to preserve the fragile artifacts. (Leah Hogsten / The Salt Lake Tribune)
In this April 24, 2014 photo, Pueblo III-period cliff dwellings created by the Anasazi or Ancestral Puebloan peoples between 1150 and 1300 A.D. in Recapture Canyon near Blanding, in Utah. The Bureau of Land Management closed it to motorized use in 2007. Recapture Canyon is home to dwellings, artifacts and burials left behind by Ancestral Puebloans hundreds of years ago before they mysteriously disappeared. Environmentalists and Native Americans say the ban is needed to preserve the fragile artifacts. (Leah Hogsten / The Salt Lake Tribune)

PUBLIC LANDS -- Ah, Utah.  You have such beautiful places preserved as public land to attract visitors from all over the world. 

But apparently you have money to burn to stroke your greed, showing us that local control is a budding conspiracy waiting to happen.

Utah legislators earmark $4.5 million for public lands lawsuit
On Wednesday, Utah approved setting aside $4.5 million as the first payment toward the $14 million estimated to fund a lawsuit aimed at asserting state ownership of tens of millions of acres of federal land within Utah's borders.

They also earmarked $250,000 in funding for the Rural Lands Alliance, a nonprofit whose registered agent is Peter Stirba, the attorney for San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, who was convicted of charges arising out of an illegal ATV ride into Utah's Recapture Canyon in 2014. Stirba said the funds allocated by the Legislature would likely be used to help counties deal with public-lands issues.

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, a vocal critic of the public-lands lawsuit, held no punches about setting aside funds for the lawsuit, which he called "despicable."



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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