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  News
ATV protest: A few thousand ride to 'Take Back Utah'
The Salt Lake Tribune Tom Wharton

Protest signs carried by about 3,000 American flag waving-motorized recreation enthusiasts riding off-highway vehicles up State Street to the steps of the state Capitol told the story of Saturday's Take Back Utah rally.

"I'll keep my guns, my freedom, my land. You keep the change," read one sign.

"This is the Place for US, not the U.S. government," opined another that was part of a parade that included sheep trailers, mountain bikers, oil and coal trucks and dozens of ATV riders exercising their freedom by not wearing helmets.

"A Man and His ATV -- A Beautiful Thing" read a placard carried by one participant, while another rider wore a T-shirt claiming that "paved roads are a fine example of needless government spending."

Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett addressed an appreciative and somewhat angry throng. So did two of Bennett's 2010 Republican Senate nomination opponents, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and firebrand Cherilyn Eagar, who sang part of a Sesame Street song.

Organized by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, and a host of off-highway vehicle clubs and sponsored by a diverse group of public land users including hunters, ranchers, farmers, miners and oil and gas companies, the event was long on anger and rhetoric and short on specifics about how federal land management should be changed or even eliminated.

"We're God-fearing and gun clinging," said Mike Swenson of the off-highway vehicle group USA-ALL, who offered Read More


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Composed: 08/19/2009 | Modified: 08/19/2009

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