Washington County officials are protesting the sale of federal land to the Utah National Guard following the discovery of a large supply of gravel on the property.

The Bureau of Land Management is selling the land to the guard for an armory near the Arizona line.Although the proposed armory site has been reduced to 70 acres in an effort to preserve the gravel, about one-third of it is still located on the land, said county planner John Willie.

Commission Chairman Jerry Lewis, who did not vote against the sale, said he would like to preserve the gravel if the BLM is willing to cooperate with the request.

However, Commissioner Scott Hirschi said he would oppose it until the resource has been claimed. Commissioner Gayle Aldred concurred, with both saying the gravel can be used by the county in future building needs.

In other action, the commission gave 12-month approval to Kern River Gas Co.'s request to establish a staging area in Veyo for gas line construction materials and equipment.

The equipment will be used during construction of the southwestern Utah portion of a natural gas pipeline across the state.