Petition demands Utah drop 'land grab'

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Southern Uah Wilderness Alliance has delivered a petition signed by 5,400 people protesting Gov. Gary Herbert's threat to take over federal lands in Utah.

Herbert was not on hand to accept the petition. The wilderness group gathered at the Utah Capitol Wednesday with hunters, fishermen and others to protest what they call a land grab.

At issue is legislation signed by Herbert that gives the federal government until 2014 to relinquish control of public lands in Utah.

The Legislature has authorized a lawsuit if the federal government doesn't comply.

Herbert's office had no immediate response.

The legislation sets up a battle over nearly 4,700 square miles of land in Utah, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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