(RS) 2477 and Western lands

Several Western states, including Utah and Colorado, have been ground zero for state vs. federal government clashes over road closures by federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).  Closures of existing roads and trails can be due to seasonal conditions or repairs, but they are often arbitrary, hindering hikers, hunters, off-roaders, and sightseers from accessing public lands. Last year, two elected officials from San Juan County, Utah, were fined nearly $100K and sentenced to brief stints in federal prison for taking part in a four-wheeler “freedom ride” on a trail in Recapture Canyon, which the BLM claimed was closed to motorized traffic. County commissioner Phil Lyman and Monticello city councilman Monte Wells fought the federal government in court partly on the basis that the trail in Recapture Canyon is protected by Revised Statute-2477 (RS-2477) because it was built long before 1976, when the Federal...(Read Full Post)