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Feds Weigh Utah Highway Plan Through Tortoise Habitat

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Federal officials are considering whether to allow a highway through habitat for a protected tortoise in southern Utah. The proposed four-lane road has drawn criticism from conservationists. The Spectrum newspaper reports it would pass through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area to connect traffic from Washington City to St. George. Elected officials say it's needed to address traffic concerns in one of the most rapidly growing parts of the country, but conservationists say there are better alternatives. The Bureau of Land Management is taking public comments through Jan. 6.