! The Capitol Complex is closed to the public due to COVID-19. All meetings will be held virtually online. View procedures and guidelines (PDF) for remote public comment and virtual meeting instructions (PDF).

Download Zipped Enrolled WordPerfect HCR014.ZIP
[Introduced][Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note] [Bills Directory]

H.C.R. 14 Enrolled

             1     

R.S. 2477 HISTORIC ROADS CONCURRENT

             2     
RESOLUTION

             3     
2010 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Michael E. Noel

             6     
Senate Sponsor: Margaret Dayton

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor addresses the lack of
             11      federal recognition of any R.S. 2477 highway rights across federally managed lands in
             12      Utah and encourages federal recognition of these rights.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    strongly encourages the United States Government to immediately begin to
             16      recognize valid state and local government rights-of-way across federally managed
             17      lands and refrain from all actions to restrict and close historic and other valid
             18      public highways in Utah;
             19          .    encourages state and local government agencies to seek federal administrative
             20      recognition of established R.S. 2477 rights across federally managed lands through
             21      a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest process;
             22          .    encourages counties to join with the state in adjudicating public highway
             23      rights-of-way, without further delay, as necessary to preserve and protect the
             24      public's right to enjoy the continued use of historic highways throughout the state;
             25          .    recognizes the fiduciary duty of elected and appointed officials to protect highway
             26      rights they manage in trust for the public; and
             27          .    strongly encourages federal officials to refrain from pressuring state and local
             28      officials to accept lesser Federal Land Policy Management Act Title V permits or
             29      maintenance agreements on roads for which substantial evidence of a valid R.S.


             30      2477 right-of-way exists, because the permits and agreements diminish or eradicate property
             31      rights granted to Utahns by Congress under R.S. 2477.
             32      Special Clauses:
             33          None
             34     
             35      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
             36          WHEREAS, in 1866, the United States Congress passed legislation offering an
             37      open-ended grant of "the right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not
             38      reserved for public uses";
             39          WHEREAS, the grant of rights-of-way, commonly called "R.S. 2477," remained in
             40      effect for 110 years, and most of the transportation routes of the West were established under
             41      its authority;
             42          WHEREAS, Congress protected all existing R.S. 2477 rights-of-way in the Federal
             43      Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) when it repealed R.S. 2477 on October 21, 1976;
             44          WHEREAS, unlike any other federal land statute, the establishment of R.S. 2477
             45      rights-of-way required no administrative formalities, entry, application, license, patent, or deed
             46      on the federal side, and no formal act of public acceptance on the part of the states or localities
             47      in whom the right was vested;
             48          WHEREAS, Utah and its counties have historically provided safe, efficient, and
             49      functional transportation systems throughout the state, including highways across federally
             50      managed lands established because of the jurisdiction granted to the state and its counties
             51      under R.S. 2477;
             52          WHEREAS, R.S. 2477 has become one of the more contentious land use issues in the
             53      West because of efforts by federal land managers and environmental advocacy groups to
             54      weaken and diminish states' and counties' historical rights to operate highways providing
             55      public travel across federally managed lands;
             56          WHEREAS, the current federal policy to not recognize any R.S. 2477 rights-of-way in
             57      the state of Utah conflicts with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal's recognition that most of


             58      the transportation routes of the West were established under the authority of R.S. 2477 and
             59      that a status quo of maintenance levels and types of use exists without federal permission;
             60          WHEREAS, federal land managers have attempted to create a new federal
             61      transportation system wherein Utah's congressionally granted rights would be administratively
             62      abolished, creating federal highway jurisdiction which closes and restricts access to the state
             63      and its counties who presently fund maintenance activities on federal transportation system
             64      roads;
             65          WHEREAS, federal land management agencies have duties and obligations to act in
             66      accordance with the FLPMA and other lawful requirements yet are attempting to establish
             67      federal control over state and local highways;
             68          WHEREAS, the Department of the Interior has not formally recognized R.S. 2477
             69      jurisdiction along Hole-in-the-Rock Road, which traverses Garfield, Kane, and San Juan
             70      Counties, even as it is being celebrated as a symbol of pioneer settlement of the West,
             71      exemplifying Congress's intent in granting highway rights-of-way;
             72          WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) refuses to recognize Tooele
             73      County's R.S. 2477 jurisdiction over the Pony Express Route Road and the Hastings Pass
             74      Road, associated with the Donner Party, in spite of the historical significance of the route and
             75      the establishment of a highway right-of-way purposefully granted to Utah by Congress;
             76          WHEREAS, federal land managers deny R.S. 2477 jurisdiction over historic highways
             77      such as the Nine Mile Canyon Road in Carbon and Duchesne Counties, the Hidden Splendor
             78      Mine Road in Emery County, the Burr Trail Road and the Notom Road in Garfield County,
             79      the Beef Basis Road in San Juan County, and the Paria Canyon Road in Kane County, which
             80      was recently closed by the BLM in response to public pressure from various environmental
             81      advocacy groups, despite Kane County's repeated unanswered request for federal R.S. 2477
             82      recognition of the road;
             83          WHEREAS, federal land managers so far have failed to recognize state and county
             84      jurisdiction to manage and regulate highways across federally managed lands, even though
             85      state and local governments exclusively maintain and repair those highways with state and


             86      local funds; and
             87          WHEREAS, public highways established under R.S. 2477 are important to the
             88      continuance of cohesive state and county transportation systems in providing safe, efficient,
             89      and functional public access to and across lands of varied ownership and status consistent with
             90      local tradition, culture, and economic needs:
             91          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
             92      Governor concurring therein, strongly encourage the United States Government to cooperate in
             93      recognizing all R.S. 2477 highway rights across federally managed lands, and refrain from any
             94      and all actions that restrict and close historic public highways in Utah.
             95          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage state
             96      and local government agencies to seek federal administrative recognition of established R.S.
             97      2477 rights across federally managed lands through a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest
             98      process.
             99          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor, consistent with
             100      federal policy, encourage counties in Utah to join with the state in adjudicating public
             101      highway rights-of-way, without further delay, as necessary to preserve and protect the public's
             102      right to enjoy the continued use of historic highways throughout the state.
             103          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor recognize the
             104      fiduciary duty of elected and appointed officials to protect highway rights they manage in trust
             105      for the public.
             106          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage
             107      federal officials to refrain from pressuring state and local officials to accept lesser FLPMA
             108      Title V permits or maintenance agreements on roads for which substantial evidence of a valid
             109      R.S. 2477 right-of-way exists, because the permits and agreements diminish and eradicate
             110      property rights granted to Utahns by Congress under R.S. 2477.
             111          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the United
             112      States Secretary of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, the Garfield County
             113      Commission, the Kane County Commission, the San Juan County Commission, the Carbon


             114      County Commission, the Duchesne County Commission, the Emery County Commission, the
             115      Utah Association of Counties, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and the Utah Department
             116      of Natural Resources.


[Bill Documents][Bills Directory]