Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Utah plans to sue feds over thousands of roads
Utah has served notice that it will sue the U.S. Interior Department for control of nearly 19,000 roads crossing federally managed lands in the state. The threatened lawsuits are collectively the latest and biggest to date in a legal barrage in which Utah is attempting to put dirt paths and disputed trails crossing Bureau of Land Management jurisdictions officially on the map and open for state or county maintenance. It makes good on a promise that the governor’s public-lands office made earlier this year to join counties that have made their own pitches for control of roads on federal lands. "We will continue to use every tool available to us, including negotiation and lawsuits, to quickly and permanently get title to our roads," Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "We are intent to defend our rights, and this filing will force the federal government to respond." Whether the roads really are Utah’s or its counties’ will depend on proving their general public use before 1976, when Congress repealed the act that granted rights of way for roads that could help in development of the West. Environmentalists view the legal strategy as a substitute for the anti-wilderness agenda, because many of the roads are of the most primitive, never-maintained class and cut across territory that otherwise could qualify as wilderness, new national monuments or for other protective designations...more