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Bill banning OHV enforcement on fed lands signed

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer has signed off on a mini-sagebrush rebellion by signing a bill barring state and local law enforcement officers from enforcing off-highway vehicle laws on closed federal lands.

HB2551 was enacted in response to the federal government's closure of forest roads and trails. It makes state OHV laws unenforceable in those areas. County sheriffs normally enforce state laws in those areas under agreements with the federal government.

The Senate approved the bill on a 19-10 vote on May 21 and the House passed it on a 34-25 vote a week earlier.

Republican Sen. Chester Crandell of Heber says he wrote the bill to protest closing roads to hunters and other recreational users. The U.S. Forest Service says closures are needed because of increasing off-road vehicle travel.

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