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Utah Approved To Build Highway Through Conservation Area

Red Cliffs Conservation Area (Photo: Red Cliffs Desert Reserve)

St. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The Utah Division of Transportation and Washington County received approval to build a four-lane highway that would pass through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, a protected Mojave desert tortoise habitat in southern Utah.

The Spectrum reported Friday that President Donald Trump’s administration granted the approval on Thursday, marking the end of a nearly two-year review of the highway’s environmental impact.

The highway will help ease traffic congestion in the region, but has drawn criticism from conservationists because it would run through land set aside to protect the tortoise and other animals.

The Utah Division of Transportation must next submit a final plan of development before moving forward.

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