SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders of Utah’s nearly $6 billion outdoor recreation industry are launching a campaign that criticizes a push by state officials to take control of vast swaths of public land from the federal government.

Outdoor officials and conservationists are launching a billboard campaign Monday that they say shows how the lands push threatens Utah’s recreation industry.

Utah passed a 2012 law demanding the federal government hand over control of much of the state’s public lands by 2015. That deadline passed and some legislators want to pursue a lawsuit to gain control.

Critics say the state has no legal claim to the land and could not afford to manage it if Utah somehow gained control.

The group launching the billboards includes Brad Petersen, Gov. Gary Herbert’s former director of Outdoor Recreation.

He resigned in November to work in the private sector.