Info Needed on RS2477 Roads in Grand County UT - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Info Needed on RS2477 Roads in Grand County UT

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This is very important!!!

If you have used roads in Grand County PRE 1976, the Grand County Raods Department needs to hear from you.

We finally have a county who is filing a lawsuit to claim all roads pre FLPMA!!!

Quote:
County seeks information on road use for RS2477 notice of intent

by Charli Engelhorn

staff writer Moab Times Independent

The Grand County Roads Department is asking residents to provide information about pre-1976 road use on public and federal lands as part of a planned state lawsuit to keep roads open under a 1976 federal act repealing a law that granted automatic rights of way on roads across unprotected federal land. In 1976, Congress repealed Revised Statue 2477 (RS2477) under the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.

According to Grand County Assistant Road Supervisor Dave Vaughn, the statute of limitations for the state to file a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Interior is nearing the 180-day deadline, and Grand County and the state are looking to compile as many depositions from road users as possible before that time. Grand County filed its intent to sue on Nov. 30, Vaughn said.

Under the 1866 mining laws to encourage settlement of western states, Congress granted “the right-of-way for the construction of highways across public lands not otherwise reserved for public purposes.” But no record of those roads or their use was required, Vaughn said.

“Now we have to prove those roads were there and used before 1976,” Vaughn said. “We are looking for anyone that may have used those roads or can show a pattern of use of those roads between 1866 and 1976.”

Filing a notice of intent to sue is a precursor to filing a lawsuit, said to John Harja, director of Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordination Office. Harja said the notices contain the “entire universe” of roads that could be included in a future lawsuit.

“The [Utah] Attorney General’s Office would file the lawsuits on behalf of the state and the respective county where the roads lie,” Harja said.

Harja said the lawsuit would be filed under the Quiet Title Act to settle ownership of the rights-of-way for 18,784 roads in 22 rural Utah counties. In 1999, the state purchased GPS equipment for Grand County to map all existing roads in the county, according to Vaughn. The county was able to map around 6,000 miles of roads in three to four years.

Vaughn said the county is asking residents to provide information about periods of time a road was used, how it was used, mechanism of transportation, if others were seen using the road, and photographs of the road. The road department is hoping to receive these witness accounts within the next two months.

“It’s getting harder to find people because a lot of the old timers are gone,” said Vaughn. “A loss of these roads could mean a loss of access, and everything we’re taking into court is already part of the county’s travel plan and RMP [resource management plan].”

Vaughn said if the roads are taken away, the travel plan and RMP process could be rewritten. Vaughn said it is fortunate the county has a good working relationship with the local branch of the Bureau of Land Management and many of the roads have already been approved for motorized travel. However, he said he recognizes that the local BLM has state and federal bosses to answer to and may not always be able to uphold those agreements.

Anyone with information can contact the Grand County roads department at 435-259-5308 or email roadhistory@grand.ut.gov.

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Old 12-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not for nothin', but there are several UT counties pursuing action under RS2477. Iron County in particular has been debating various issues going back to at least 10yrs (http://www.ironcounty.net/department...2001-01-08.htm).

This is exactly what the counties and states SHOULD be doing in response to the BLM's less-than-forthcoming manner of dealing with management in the West. The "close first, ask questions later" method, which seems to be motivated less by management tactics and more by lack of perceived resources, is not working for lots and lots of user groups.

thanks for putting this up on Pirate, and it's getting some views on Facebook as well.
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