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Arizona Daily Sun, January 27, 2009

Suit filed on motorized vehicle use on Arizona Strip national monuments
Sun staff report

The Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and other environmental groups filed suit Monday, arguing that the Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermilion Cliffs national monuments are too open to motorized vehicles.

The Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Arizona Wilderness Coalition, among others, sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, stating that the agency's rules allowed too much travel on about 1 million acres of the remote monuments, and that solitude and wildlife habitat were being destroyed as a result. The monuments were created in 2000, by then-president Bill Clinton, who signed proclamations stating that vehicular use there should be banned, outside of emergencies and government agencies, according to the groups.

The groups also opposed livestock grazing on the monuments, saying the government had not adequately considered whether it would impact the desert tortoise, relict leopard frog, desert bighorn sheep and federally listed threatened plant species.

The Arizona Daily Sun, Copyright 2009 ©

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton