Utah suing federal government over wilderness plan

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over an Obama administration plan to make millions of acres of undeveloped land in the West eligible for federal wilderness protection.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert calls the plan a “midnight ambush,” one that circumvents state efforts to determine what areas should be deemed wilderness.

Herbert says he expects Alaska to join the lawsuit later today, and hoped Idaho and Wyoming would do so as well.

Herbert says he agrees that wilderness areas deserve protection but the state should be able to determine the process.

He says the Obama administration’s plan approved Dec. 23 has no statutory authority and should be overturned.



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