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Dispute roils over route to remote Utah landmark

Dispute roils over route to remote Utah landmark



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The fate of a remote, dusty corridor leading to one of southern Utah's most spectacular sights will be the focus of a federal trial that starts next week in Salt Lake City.

Five years ago, San Juan County sued the National Park Service for putting up a locked gate across a route through Salt Creek Canyon in the eastern portion of Canyonlands National Park. The route was once popular for those in four-wheel-drive vehicles trying to reach Angel Arch.

County officials claim ownership of the road under a Civil War-era law -- now known as RS 2477 -- that assured passage across federal lands.

The park service is fighting the claim, saying the county hasn't proven legitimate ownership of the route.

The trial is scheduled to start Monday and last for two weeks.

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(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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