Access, Control Argued in Canyonlands, Salt Creek Road Appellate Hearing

The Associated Press

September 19, 2012

DENVER — The federal government said Wednesday it has control over highway access in national monuments even if no official notice was given, in a case that could affect highway rights of way on federal public land across the country.

Aaron Avila, attorney for the U.S. Justice Department, told an appeals court panel Wednesday that the federal government had the right to close a disputed highway right of way in an ecologically sensitive streambed in Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. He said no one objected when barriers were put up in the 1970s in parts of a canyon limiting access, even though there were other access roads.

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