SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Farm Bureau Federation has joined the fight against a lawsuit it warns would increase the cost of grazing permits and slow down permit approval.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the group joined 11 other Western farm bureaus that want to intervene in the lawsuit.

The Utah farm bureau says the suit threatens the economic viability of nearly 1,600 sheep and cattle ranchers with grazing permits in Utah.

The case in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is led by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Western Watersheds Project.

The groups want the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to raise grazing fees to accurately reflect the administrative and environmental costs associated with grazing on public lands.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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