In the Hive

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Revised Statute 2477 is a now-repealed section of frontier-era U.S. law that allowed the construction of right-of-way highways over unreserved federal lands.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)

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

KCPW producer Tim Pierce contributed to this episode.

In the Hive
From local politics, to arts and culture, to history, the environment and beyond, “In the Hive” explores the issues and ideas that tie Utah together. Produced by KCPW Studios
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