To the dismay of environmentalists, state and local officials in Utah will be able to claim the rights to thousands of miles of dirt roads on federal lands, under the terms of an agreement announced yesterday by Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Utah Gov. Mark Leavitt (R). Leavitt and Norton said the deal would prevent unnecessary confusion and litigation over who has the right to control and maintain roads in Utah, but enviros fear that it will enable the feds to give away public lands to special interests, resulting in more encroachment on parks and wilderness areas. “There is a bulldozer behind the fine print,” said Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Conservation Director Heidi McIntosh.
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