Leavitt Responds to Outdoor Retailer Threat

Leavitt Responds to Outdoor Retailer Threat

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(KSL News) -- Governor Mike Leavitt says he's surprised the leaders of Utah's largest twice-annual convention are considering pulling the show out of the state.

The threat comes in protest of what the retailers are calling the governor's lack of results on promised protections of wild lands in Utah.

The Outdoor Industry Association sent a letter to the governor yesterday saying it was "immensely disappointed" in Leavitt's efforts.

Today the governor questioned the timing of the letter, coming before a vote on his confirmation to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Gov. Mike Leavitt: "It wasn't lost on me that the letter was sent at 12:20 on a Sunday afternoon to the media before it got to us on the day before I'm supposed to be confirmed or at least have an action on my confirmation."

Soon Leavitt plans to register the state's objections to the Bureau of Land Management's plans for 15 oil and gas wells in wilderness-quality areas near the White River.

But conservationists call the governor's plan "window dressing"--saying those 15 wells are a small fraction of the 450 proposed by an oil exploration company.

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