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House OKs changes in Naomi wilds area

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WASHINGTON — The House has passed a bill to remove 31 acres containing power, water and telephone lines from the huge 44,523-acre Mount Naomi Wilderness area near Logan. The bill now goes to President Bush to be signed into law.

To ensure that the overall acreage of wilderness is not decreased, the bill also adds a different 31 acres of Forest Service land to the wilderness area.

It is the first bill passed through Congress by freshman Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, the House sponsor of the bill. It was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah. The Senate passed it in April.

When the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area, one of the largest in Utah, was created in 1984, it included some land abutting Logan that included utility lines. Because no motorized vehicles may be operated in wilderness areas, maintenance of the utilities has been difficult.