A road by any other name: RS2477 and the battle over Western public lands

Today on “In the Hive,” we delve into a story about public lands, wilderness and what makes a road a road.

Revised Statute 2477 is a now-repealed section of frontier-era U.S. law that allowed the construction of right-of-way highways over unreserved federal lands. A part of the 1866 Mining Law, the statute meant to encourage the settlement of the West. But more than a century and a half later, RS2477 is now the basis for legal claims by the state of Utah to thousands of routes that crisscross a variety of remote landscapes. As a result the statute is central to the battle over Western public lands.

A map of RS2477 claims in Utah (Courtesy SUWA)


Guests:
Steve Bloch, Legal Director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Tony Rampton, Assistant Utah Attorney General

KCPW producer Tim Pierce contributed to this episode.

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