Public Land Sell-Off

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Nearly 20 Colorado hunting and fishing groups say that 300-thousand acres of national forests and other public land up for sale nationwide shouldn't be sold.

The groups -- including several local Trout Unlimited chapters, the Colorado Trappers Association and the Colorado State Muzzleloading Association -- are asking the state's congressional delegation to oppose the Bush administration's plan to raise as much as a billion dollars for rural schools by auctioning the land.

About 21-thousand acres in eleven national forests and grasslands in Colorado are on a list of sites that could be sold.

The U-S Forest Service has included land along the Mount Evans Highway, lands near Grays and Torreys peaks and a parcel west of the Vail ski resort.

Proceeds from the sales would extend a program that aids rural counties hurt by sharply reduced federal timber sales.