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New state law criticized for dissing feds


HELENA - A new Montana law banning the federal government from buying state land is unlikely to have much practical effect, officials say, but critics contend it was intended more as a symbolic slap at the feds from the start.

The law was sponsored by a Republican logging contractor who complained that federal land ownership has cause ''nothing but trouble'' in his area. Critics say the law's passage simply allows conservatives to flaunt their disrespect for the federal government.

''This is a thumb-our-nose at the federal government,'' said Rep. Chris Harris, D-Livingston, who opposed the...

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