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Groups complain about land plan comment procedures

Groups complain about land plan comment procedures

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Four environmental groups say the Bureau of Land Management did not seek public comment on amendments to land-management plans that are associated with oil shale development.

The Wilderness Society, Western Resource Advocates, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter this week to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The letter says BLM ignored federal law to expedite commercial development of oil shale without allowing the public a chance to object to the land management plans in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

Utah BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall says the Interior Department approved the land management plan amendments without a protest period because of a congressionally mandated timeframe in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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