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Rep. Carl Wimmer plans to step up the state's opposition to federal land policies, proposing legislation that would require state law enforcement to ensure access to areas declared off-limits by the federal government.

"It's a pure nullification bill," Wimmer said Monday. "Any federal land grabs, any further protections by the federal government will be null and void … unless it's conducted with the state Legislature's approval."

Moreover, the bill — which is still being drafted — would direct any county sheriff to ensure the public has access to disputed lands, even if the federal government has determined travel should be restricted or prohibited.

Earlier this month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he is directing the Bureau of Land Management to review areas for possible protection if they have wilderness characteristics.

In particular, the BLM will look at 2.8 million acres that were identified by the Bush administration as having potential wilderness characteristics, but only 400,000 of them were protected.

The decision has outraged conservative Utah lawmakers and Wimmer said he is in part reacting to that announcement.

Last session, the Utah Legislature enacted a law that allows the state to use eminent domain to try to seize federal lands. The state has not tried to use that authority to date, but the Governor's Office said last week that it is preparing a major lawsuit to claim ownership of hundreds of roadways across federal land.