Supporters trying to raise money for drilling bids

Supporters trying to raise money for drilling bids

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Supporters of an environmental activist who infiltrated a government auction for oil and gas parcels in Utah are trying to raise money to help cover his bids.

Tim DeChristopher snapped up 22,500 acres of parcels between Arches and Canyonlands national parks _ with no plans to develop or even pay for the properties.

Friends say DeChristopher has six days to raise $45,000 to cover the first payment on the properties that cost $1.7 million overall. He opposed the government's sale of land near some of Utah's most scenic areas.

DeCristopher's unofficial spokeswoman, Julianne Fitzgerald, says supporters are trying to raise the money to help keep him out of legal trouble.

Federal prosecutors are weighing criminal charges against DeChristopher.

(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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