Utah Rep. Jim Hansen (R) stepped on the toes of environmentalists yesterday, Earth Day, by usurping the bill number that since 1989 has been attached to enviros’ Utah wilderness proposal. Hansen will assign the number H.R. 1500 to his own wilderness bill instead, which would impose a 10-year limit on the amount of time an area can be considered a “wilderness study area.” If after 10 years a decision has not been made about the land, it would be open to multiple uses. The bill backed by enviros, now likely to be called H.R. 1501, would designate 9.1 million acres of Utah land as wilderness.

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