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Rob Bishop

Lawmakers willing to pay for $14M lawsuit over public lands

Top lawmakers said Monday that Utah may pursue a lawsuit this year to win control of about 31 million acres of public lands owned by the federal government and lawmakers are willing to foot the bill.

House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, opened the Legislature's 45-day annual session by telling his colleagues that he hopes that either through a lawsuit or an effort spearheaded by two Utah congressmen, that the state will push forward this year and gain more control.

"Because I've had it. I've had it with federal management or mismanagement," Hughes said.

Utah passed a law four years ago demanding that the U.S. government transfer the land by 2015....