Kane County and the Federal Government have had a dispute over the ownership of a number of roads that traverse federal lands which the county has argued belong to the county under Revised Statue 2477(RS2477). RS2477 is a provision of the Mining Act of 1866 which granted the right-of-way to states and counties to construct highways over public lands. These roads are used by a number of groups to get out and use the public lands; such as, access for grazing, recreation, and even the Sheriff’s Office for search and rescue. There has been a heated controversy over these roads in Kane County from about the time that President Clinton declared the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument in 1996. A court decision as of March 2013 found that 12 of 15 roads were indeed RS2477 rights of way belonging to the county.
We met up with the three current county commissioners to discuss the importance of this decision to counties across the west and to look at the future of county roads over federal lands in the future.
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