HRA conducted research and completed field studies of twelve rural roads located in Kane County, Utah, which were the source of a dispute relating to their status as potential RS 2477 rights-of-way. RS 2477 is a provision of an 1866 mining law under which Congress authorized rights-of-way across public lands “not otherwise reserved for public purposes.” In recent years, the statute has engendered legal conflicts pertaining to the ownership of roads in many western states.
Working under contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), HRA historians completed a wide range of research relating to the history of these twelve roads, reviewing historic newspapers, maps, aerial photos, and archival records. Additionally, HRA conducted field studies to document the condition and current uses of each road. The BLM used HRA’s final report to complete an administrative review of the applicability of the RS 2477 statute for each road.