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Colorado seeks to open land to farmers, ranchers

posted on July 18, 2008

Associated Press - July 15, 2008 11:14 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - Colorado state officials are asking a federal judge to allow farmers and ranchers hit hard by drought to use land idled under a federal program for livestock grazing.

State Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp says his agency has filed a brief asking U.S. District Judge John Coughenour (Koo'-nower) in Seattle to lift a temporary injunction stopping Conservation Reserve Program land from being opened nationwide for grazing.

The injunction imposed last week temporarily blocks a federal plan. Conservation groups are suing to halt the program.

Livestock owners in six Colorado counties can use some of the land for grazing under an emergency program, but Stulp says farmers and ranchers across the state's eastern plains want access to additional grazing land.

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