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Environmentalists: Utah road dispute costly

By Josh Loftin

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, April 24 2012 9:37 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is expected to release maps showing the location of thousands of roads that Utah officials are trying to claim through a federal lawsuit.

The group is planning a news conference Tuesday morning along with the Sierra Club, archeologists and private property owners. They say vehicle use on many of the roads will threaten national parks, monuments and other designated wilderness areas if the state gains control of them.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced in December that the state has filed a notice of intent with the U.S. Interior Department to file the lawsuit over more than 18,000 roads.

The threatened lawsuit is part of a decades-long dispute throughout the western United States. The contested routes can range from graded dirt roads to dry stream beds.

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