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Utah Lawmakers Approve $12 Million For Federal Land Fight

Utah lawmakers approved more than $12 million in funding at this year's session for their fight to wrest control of public lands from the federal government and extract the natural resources they hold.

Among other things, the funds will go toward lobbyists, lawyers, consultants and others involved in Utah's demand for title to 31 million acres of public lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

Republican legislators told The Salt Lake Tribune the spending is necessary to protect state interests in the face of what they call federal overreach on issues such as grazing, mining and oil and gas leasing.

Conservationists say GOP lawmakers are guilty of their own overreach at the expense of taxpayers and genuine progress on land management.

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