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Letter to the Editor: RS-2477 Property Rights

Castle Dale

Dear Editor,

All Emery County residents concerned about our future should be troubled that an outside group, the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-All), has had to sue our commissioners to try to force them to protect our RS 2477 road rights of way. These RS 2477 roads are critical to our economic future as well as to our traditional recreation use of the federal lands in Emery County. But the wilderness extremists and many federal land managers want to close off as many of these roads as they can. In Emery County, the BLM has already obstructed some of the most important roads we have used for generations for recreation and economic uses, including Junes Bottom, Muddy Creek and Segers Hole.

These road rights of way are property rights that we own as a county. The commission has a responsibility to defend them or abandon them using the public process laid out in law.

Other rural county commissions in Utah and around the West are doing just that, fighting to protect their county roads. According to USA-All, our commission, rather than standing up for our rights is cooperating with the BLM to enforce these illegal road closures.

This is such a critical issue to our future that the SouthEastern Utah OHV Club has arranged a public briefing with the lead attorney from USA-All so we can better understand the problems that have led to this lawsuit. On Thursday, May 27, 2004 at 7 p.m. he will be at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale to explain this lawsuit to county residents.

The public is encourgaed to attend this briefing and will have a chance to ask questions about the road closure situation in Emery County as well as about the USA-All lawsuit. We are also welcoming the county commissioners to attend and answer questions.

Since this is an election year, I think it is particularly important for all Emery County residents to understand the commission's policy and how it threatens our RS 2477 property rights.

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