Forest Service narrowing list of wild Utah rivers for protection

Forest Service narrowing list of wild Utah rivers for protection

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- Utah could get some wild and scenic rivers -- it already has them, but the federal government is moving to brand them with a special designation.

The U.S. Forest Service has determined that sections of two dozen Utah rivers and streams qualify for protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. That means no dam building.

A final recommendation could come by the end of the month.

Only Congress can designate a wild and scenic river, which can restrict or prohibit mining or oil and gas well near a river.

All the proposed wild rivers, streams and creeks are on national forest lands in Utah, the second driest state in the nation, and some come to life only in a thunderstorm or with spring runoff.

The only other Western state with no such designations is Nevada, the driest state.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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