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HEARING ON WATERSHED BILL DELAYED

A U.S. Senate subcommittee postponed a hearing on legislation aimed at consolidating Salt Lake City watershed and U.S. Forest Service land that city officials say will make watershed management more efficient.

Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, introduced the bill in February to consolidate land holdings in City Creek, Red Butte, Emigration and Parleys canyons east and north of the city.The bill's first hearing was scheduled Thursday before the Senate subcommittee on public lands, but the committee allotted only enough time to allow for administration witnesses.

Dennis Earhart, lobbyist for Salt Lake City, said at the behest of city water officials he asked that the meeting be rescheduled perhaps in June to allow more time for testimony from Salt Lake witnesses.

"We felt it would be a better hearing and one in which the (subcommittee) chairman would hear the local point of view," Earhart said.

The Garn bill would transfer 8,935 acres of city land to the Forest Service in exchange for 8,950 acres now in the Wasatch National Forest.