- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah residents and Native Americans say they are upset they were left out of the planning of a public lands plan that calls for protecting 4 million acres of public land in in exchange for freeing up more than 1 million acres for recreation and oil and gas development.

Hundreds of people turned out for a citizens’ hearing on Wednesday at the University of Utah, where the majority of the crowd was highly critical of the plan, drafted by Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz.

Critics say the plan threatens Utah’s natural heritage and landscapes by stripping protections from huge swaths of land.

A recording of Wednesday’s hearing will be submitted with the official congressional record on the initiative.

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