Environment

Sep 19, 2012 11:15 AM by Lauren Molenburg

Federal court to hear appeal on Canyonlands park

DENVER (AP) - The federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing an appeal over a disputed highway right of way located in an ecologically sensitive streambed in Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah.

The National Park Service closed the stream to off-road vehicle use in 2005 because of water pollution, crushed vegetation, degraded wildlife habitat and other impacts.

San Juan County and the state of Utah sued the Park Service, arguing that the Park could not close the streambed to four-wheel-drive vehicles because it was a county and state highway.

A trial court ruled that the few travelers who had ventured up the stream before Canyonlands became a national park in 1964 did not convert the creek into a highway under federal law.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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