Kane County UT vs. BLM

Jun 6, 2003
Cuyamaca, CA and Las Vegas, NV
Kane County VS BLM
Kane sign deadline comes, goes-UT

No action taken: The BLM ordered the county to take down its signs on BLM
land by Monday

By Joe Baird
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The deadline set by the Bureau of Land Management for Kane County to remove
its road signs from BLM-administered lands came and went on Monday.

In response, BLM State Director Sally Wisely sent a letter to the Interior
Department's regional solicitor requesting that it take legal action to
compel Kane County to remove the signs and put back any BLM signs that it
has taken out.

"We're looking for a solution, not a confrontation. We consider local county
governments essential partners in the management of public lands. So it's
disappointing that our hand has been forced in this matter," said Don Banks,
the BLM's state external affairs chief.

Kane County began posting signs in February designating off-highway-vehicle
(OHV) routes across BLM-administered land, and in March designated a new
route through an area northeast of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park that is
being studied for potential wilderness designation. Most recently, the
county posted an estimated 60 to 80 signs inside the Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument along the Hole in the Rock Road and
its vicinity, directing OHV users into areas the BLM had previously closed
to off-road use.

Kane County Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw said the county would offer a
detailed response to an April 26 letter Wisely sent to the county demanding
removal of the county signs. But generally speaking, he added, the signs
will stay in place and new ones will be added.
"Our position from the get-go is to manage our transportation system based
on valid road rights granted by Congress," said Habbeshaw. "These roads
exist without the recognition of the BLM; that's what case law says. If we
manage our transportation system based upon these rights of way, and within
the scope allowed, we believe the courts will honor our legal position."

Kane County is claiming the BLM-administered roads under Revised Statute
2477, a Civil War-era law that granted rights of way to state and county
governments across federal land. Congress repealed the statute in 1976, but
existing roads were grandfathered in.
The BLM has argued that the county has made no RS2477 claims through
existing claiming processes, and signed off on a BLM land-use plan for the
roads in question several years ago.
The federal agency got support for its action on Monday from a host of
environmental organizations, including the Southern Utah Wilderness
Alliance, the Wilderness Alliance, the Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon

Despite Monday's events, both sides say they are still amenable to
discussions that might yet avert a legal showdown.


Supporting Vendor
Jan 9, 2003
The Kane County public servants are HERO's in my opinion. I have been following this since they first started claiming THEIR roads last year. Good for them!


Oct 12, 2004
I'll be visiting the area in a few weeks...it'll be interesting to see all these new signs. Once upon a time, I would have "rubber stamped" just about anything the Sierra Club,et al said was a "good thing", but after visiting the GSENM several times myself in a 4wd vehicle it's clear that there's no reason to lock out most of the roads and trails there, as long as the 4wd/atv users are good citizens, stay on the trails, etc.


Elder Statesman
Supporting Vendor
Apr 14, 2004
I love it when bureaucracy gets bludgeoned by...................................

MORE BUREAUCRACY! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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