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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Congress has approved a swap of federal and state lands in Utah, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama's desk.
The measure would protect wilderness-quality lands along the Colorado River area north of Moab by turning state parcels over to the federal government.
In return, Utah would get energy-rich parcels in the Book Cliffs region of eastern Utah.
Utah would give up 72 square miles of parcels and receive federal lands totaling 56 square miles.
Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett and Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson say they've been working on this particular exchange for four years.
The exchange simplifies the checkerboard pattern of land ownership common in the West that isolates square parcels of state trust lands within interspersed federal parcels.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)