Tenth Circuit Court to Hear Utah Wilderness Lawsuit

Tenth Circuit Court to Hear Utah Wilderness Lawsuit

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal appeals court is scheduled tomorrow to consider a lawsuit over wilderness protection in Utah.

A coalition of environmental groups is protesting a 2003 settlement between the state and federal governments that eliminated nearly 6 (M)million acres from temporary wilderness protection.

The settlement ended a 1996 lawsuit the state had filed against the federal government over new wilderness inventories under Clinton.

The environmental groups say the settlement violates federal land management practices dating to the Reagan administration, and makes it too tough to give interim wilderness protection to federal lands throughout the West.

The state says environmentalists had the chance to protest as the agreement was being hammered out, but didn't.

The 3-judge 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is hearing the case.

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

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