Salt Creek Canyon Road Decision | Deseret News

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

April 29, 2014

“On Friday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Utah and San Juan County failed to prove that Salt Creek Canyon Road was a “public thoroughfare,” meaning the road remains off-limits to their rights-of-way claims under a Civil War-era statute.

“It would be mistake to consider this decision limiting us from going forward in our other road cases,” said Harry Souvall, public lands section chief for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. He added that the decision provides clarity on such issues as statutes of limitations, but does not shut down the state and counties’ case in claims to 12,000 other roads.”

Read full story | Deseret News

Kane County Wins Legal Fight Over Civil War-Era Roads | KSL.com

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

March 21, 2013

“Kane County officials and the Utah Attorney General’s Office are celebrating what they say is a major win in the longstanding legal fight to win title from the federal government to multiple rights-of-way on Civil War-era roads.

“It marks a great victory for Kane County in our road battle we have been working on for a decade,” said Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson.

The Wednesday ruling by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups granted the county and the state title to 12 of 15 roads that had been in dispute with the U.S. Department of Interior — access Clayton said is important to preserve for motor vehicle use.

“There is this perception here that we are making new roads, but we are not,” he said. “We are trying to preserve what already exists.”

The case — and 22 other lawsuits filed by the state and counties last year — revolve around what’s called RS2477 roads, part of a transportation network established through an 1866 law to foster movement in the West.”

Read full story | KSL.com

Press Release – Alaska Asserts Ownership of Multiple R.S. 2477 Rights-of-Way in the Chicken Area

Press Release

March 20, 2013

Juneau, Alaska – Today, the State of Alaska filed suit against the United States and others, asserting ownership of multiple R.S. 2477 rights-of-way in the Chicken, Alaska area. This case seeks to address important issues of federal overreach and protection of State sovereignty concerning management and control of important State property interests.

“Litigation is always a last resort, but we will not stand by while the federal government restricts public access to State-owned rights-of-way,” Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty said. “In our large State with limited connectivity between communities and resources, these rights-of-way are of vital importance.”

Read full Press Release | State of Alaska Department of Law