Two Counties Sue Over Grazing Reduction

Two Counties Sue Over Grazing Reduction

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two Utah counties have filed a lawsuit against the federal government's elimination of 24-thousand acres of grazing within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

On Tuesday, Kane and Garfield counties filed the suit. It claims the Bureau of Land Management failed to follow rules before eliminating the acres of grazing within the 1-point-9(M)million acre monument.

Environmentalists contend the land was rightfully retired to protect sensitive areas within the monument.

Since the 1996 creation of the monument, the Grand Canyon Trust has been buying grazing permits in those sensitive areas.

County commissioners and the Canyon Country Ranchers Association are hoping the lawsuit will help persuade Congress to take a second look at the grazing issue.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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