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Herbert, Johnson hope to avoid new national monument

Herbert, Johnson hope to avoid new national monument

(KUTV) -- Governor Gary Herbert and his GOP challenger Jonathan Johnson are both against a new national monument in Utah.

Environmentalists want President Barack Obama to designate the 'Bears Ears' monument in south eastern Utah near Blanding.

"We're gonna get one," Johnson said. "I think the President's going to make a monument one way or another."

Johnson wants Utah to file a lawsuit against the federal government to gain control of public land.

"If we had litigated years ago, we might be in a very different position today," Johnson said.

He's accusing Herbert of acting too slow for not filing a lawsuit.

Governor Herbert disagrees. He's been negotiating with Congress for years on a settlement in hopes of avoiding a monument.

"I've talked to anyone who will listen, don't make a monument don't put kerosene on the fire," Herbert said. "As soon as we litigate, they'll say that's bad faith. we will get a national monument."

Johnson says not owning public land will strangle local economies in rural Utah.

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