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State lawmakers demanding feds handover land

A landscape in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management)

Another “sagebrush rebellion” is brewing with Arizona possibly laying claim to 25 million acres of federal land. Supporters of the modern day land grab say federal agencies have mismanaged the land and blocked access to natural resources while depriving the state of jobs and revenue from businesses ready to develop those resources.

The state says if the feds fail to do so by 2014, the state will begin sending the federal government property tax bills.

With the state in control, backers say, loggers could return to forests where endangered species halted work decades ago and miners could regain access to ore outside the Grand Canyon.

Tucson state Sen. Al Melvin tells The Arizona Republic the radical environmental policies of federal agencies have ground those industries to a halt.

Conservation groups say a state takeover would threaten areas protected by federal rules.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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