SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court is weighing the state's push to claim the right to use some 12,000 rural roads that run over federal land.

Utah is suing the federal government to guarantee access to the roads that run though large swathes of the state. Environmental groups are pushing back, saying the state is trying to claim every faint track in the desert as a local right of way. Conservationists argued Monday that the state's move came decades too late, but the state says the suits were filed in plenty of time.

The case comes amid increasing tensions over control of public lands across the West. It isn't clear when the Utah Supreme Court will rule, but their decision will affect nearly two dozen lawsuits over what are known as R.S. 2477 roads.

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