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SavageSun4x4
03-30-2006, 08:40 AM
SEMA eNews, Vol. 9, No. 13 – March 29, 2006

OFF-ROADERS MAY GAIN ACCESS TO MORE ROADS AND TRAILS

Interior Secretary Gale Norton issued an order that could eventually open thousands of miles of roads and trails to “right-of-way” claims brought by state and county governments under an old mining law known as “RS 2477.” RS 2477 claims are based on the fact that the subject road or trail has been in continuous use since before the land was designated as federal property.

At issue is a dispute over how the term “continuous use” is defined. The federal government had argued that such lands must have been mechanically constructed. Utah and other states or local jurisdictions have a more liberal definition that is based only on use. The federal government will now defer to state or local law. The order applies to the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies within the Interior Department and could lead to more claims on roads and trails in national parks, wildlife refuges, national monuments and wilderness areas.

Last September, a federal appeals court ruled that state definitions supersede federal rules. The case in point are RS 2477 claims brought by Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties in Utah for rights-of-way in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The lawsuit has been sent back to a lower court for another trial. For details, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

OlneyJeeps
03-30-2006, 06:15 PM
does this apply to just fed land, or state land as well?
ttbomk, the four peaks road out of cottonwood camp was kept open (enters fourpeaks wilderness) because it leads to an active mining claim (where access ends)

SavageSun4x4
03-30-2006, 06:21 PM
does this apply to just fed land, or state land as well?
ttbomk, the four peaks road out of cottonwood camp was kept open (enters fourpeaks wilderness) because it leads to an active mining claim (where access ends)
It is very diffcult to say, but it seems it is going to court to also decide that issue also.

Sedona Jeep School
03-30-2006, 07:15 PM
Aaaaahh! You have ferretted out one of my secret hiding places! The Grand-Staircase Escalante N.M. is where I run off to hide from time to time--in 1.9 million acres, it is easy to get lost (in a good way)--and the scenery makes Sedona look like a cardboard backdrop. I have been watching that lawsuit--glad to hear that we get to keep our roads!