Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Western GOP officials: Let states run public lands

SALT LAKE CITY — Some Western Republican officials say their states are missing out on revenues and opportunities to prevent wildfires because they don't have enough control over public lands.

The group on Friday included U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop and state lawmakers from Montana, Nevada and Utah.

The gathering follows an announcement last week from another group of Western officials who said it's time they manage federal lands rich in natural resources.

But critics are questioning where states will find resources to manage vast ranges.

The Bureau of Land Management in recent weeks rounded up cattle belonging Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, saying he hasn't paid grazing fees he has owed since the 1990s. Bundy does not recognize federal authority on the land.

Federal officials released the cattle after a standoff with armed protesters.

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