Revised Statute 2477

RS 2477

Section 8, Congressional Mining Act of 1866, known as Revised Statute 2477 (RS 2477). And be it further enacted. “That the right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted.”

The original grant did not require being recorded, meaning it was self-enacting.  It granted to counties and states a right-of-way across federal land when a highway was built according to state laws.  Once established the RS 2477 route is under state and county control as a legal public highway which would mean that only a board of County Commissioners could vacate it, legally.   RS 2477 was repealed on October 21, 1976 under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The repeal was subject to “valid existing rights.” The relevant text (Sec. 701. 43 U.S.C. 1701) reads (a) “Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed as terminating any valid lease, permit, patent, right-of-way, or other land use right or authorization existing on the date of approval of this Act”. 

Federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claim that based on case precedence they cannot make a determination regarding valid RS 2477 Rights of Way.  This does not deter the BLM from ignoring obvious pre 1976 historical roads/routes on unreserved public lands, ultimately renaming the routes (Example: BLM Route B136 (zone = letter and # = route)) and closing many of the routes, generally 40-60% of all area historical motorized routes are closed (closed to motorized use by general public) with each BLM Travel Management Plan (TMP) across the Western United States.   By closing the historical RS 2477 ROW’s the BLM is taking that jurisdiction from the state/county and making the route a de-facto federal enclave under the “exclusive” jurisdiction of the federal government. 

The BLM closes thousands of miles of RS 2477 Granted ROW’s every year with no regard for the rule of law.  Between 2014 and 2016 within just three Colorado TMP’s (Grand Junction, Colorado River Valley and Kremmling) the BLM closed over 4,000 miles of routes in Colorado, many were RS 2477 Grants that could be historically documented/mapped in 15 minutes using online references such as  (historical federal gov’t surveys) or (USGS Topo Maps) and/or › apps › Viewer (USGS Aerial Photos 1944 to 1979). In Colorado, these RS 2477 granted Rights of Way are defined by Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) CRS 43-1-202CRS 43-2-201, and CRS 29-20-104 and the1993 Report to Congress on RS 2477.

Much of the RS 2477 information shared below was collected from 2013 to 2016 when the Grand Junction (CO) BLM office closed over 50% of historical motorized routes in the Grand Junction Travel Management District to the general public.   This area is compromised mainly of Mesa and Garfield County Colorado.  97.2% of all federal lands in Colorado are held in a Proprietorial Interest Only by the federal government.  

In December 2020 the Garfield County Commissioners (led by Commissioner John Martin) successfully reopened over 50,000 acres of BLM / public lands in Garfield and Mesa County by using federal law RS 2477 in Denver Federal Court to reopen a historic public highway.


RS 2477 reference materials
1986 WILKENSON v DOI Grand Junction CO RS 24772006 DOI Gale Norton RS 2477 DecisionTravel Restrictions on DOI Lands in Colorado
1989 Colorado Public Access Task Force DNR2006 RS2477_QA_on_Norton_3-22-06 PolicyIntelligence Report RS 2477
1993 Report to Congress on RS 24772008 NYU RS 2477Colorado DOT ROW Manual Chapter 2
1994 Lander County DA, Nevada RS 24772009 Kane County letter to SalazarCaribou-Targhee National For RS2477
1997 Omnibus Act2011 RS 2477 Bill Reed and Bill HowellFLMPA Section 701 (G) (2) Jurisdiction
1997 RS 2477 is self enacting2012 Mar 19 Western Counties Alliance RS 2477GJ BLM ignores 1997 Omnibus Act
1997 Eureka County, NV RS 24772012, RS2477, Nevada LawyerOTC elk tags 2009 to 2019 in Colorado.
1997 Sec of Int. Memo on RS 24772013 Martin Draft RS 2477 Legislation
2001 CO Central Mag, Baxter Pass, RS 24772013 Kane County wins legal fight over RS 2477
2001 Moffat County CO, FLPMA Violation 601 RS 2477Travel Restrictions on DOI Lands in Colorado
2001 R.S. 2477 Alaska Rights of WayFLPMA Disclaimer Rules 1453 RS 2477 roads recognized by DOI
2001 Moffat county co, Gale NortonRS 2477 Grant, Western Counties Resource Policy Inst.
2004 RS 2477 DOI FLPMABLM Executive Orders 11644 11989 do not trump jurisdiction on ROWs
2005 Post Independent RS 2477 Legal Public HighwaysForest Roads and Trails Act 6.2.16
County Resolutions for RS 2477 and Jurisdiction
2014 Mesa County RS 2477 Resolution2012 Western_Counties_Alliance RS 24772004 Teller County RS 2477 brief summary
2014 Assoc Govt of NW CO RS 2477 Resolution 2.20.142009 Mesa County, Keith Corey, and RS 2477Ouray County RS 2477 Resolution
2013 Mesa County RS 2477 Petition, 1800 signatures2004 Teller County RS4277 ResolutionSaguache County RS 2477 Resolution
2013 Feb Garfield County RS 24772003 Moffat County RS 2477 ResolutionCarbon-County-Resolution-of-County-Jurisdiction
2013 Garfield County RS 2477 Doc2000 Montrose Co. RS2477 ResolutionKane County, RS 2477 Video
2013-2015 Grand Junction, CO BLM TMP/RMP Road Closures
2013 GJ BLM new vs old factsheets with DRMP app M132015 Garfield County RS 2477 PLAA ReportCPW Probation letter to GJFO, BLM
2013 a Grand Junction BLM ROAD CLOSURE RALLYMarch 8, 2013 letter to editor back country hunters and anglers close roadsAppeal 2015,O813, Indian Point Trail, State BLM TMP
2015 Mesa County PRMP Protest Lettermiles of route closures blm grand junctionAppeal 2015 mesa county 552 RS 2477 routes BLM TMP
BLM_TMP_Mesa_County_VIR_Routes_Closed_To_PublicGJ BLM Slide 17, BLM Club 20 pres aAppeal 2015 G142,RS 2477 State BLM TMP
Mesa County VIR Closed to Public 5-11-2015 reduced10Grand Valley Trail Alliance (GVTA) FundingAppeal BLM asks for Extension
2015 protest BLM road closure designations mesa county21 State Senators sign BLM LetterAPPEAL RS 2477 BLM Answer 2018
2-20-14 letters to editorRoute designation BLM protest letter
2015-05-21_Govenor Hickenlooper letter re BLM GJFO PRMPch 11 news online
Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) 3-1-102 Consent to acquire private lands in Colorado by the Federal Governement
CRS 3.1.102, consent to acquire landBLM ignores Colorado State Law CRS 3-1-102 protest letter reducedSarvis Creek Feds acquire CO private land without consent CRS 3.1.102
Garfield County Commissioners Reopen 50,000 acres of public lands with RS 2477, County Road 200, Garfield County Colorado
Garfield County Commissioners Vote 3-0 to reopen CR 200, Dry Fork Road. 12-14-2015daily sentinel 1.13.1610.27.20 50000 acres
12.23.20 County wins, judge orders ranch to open road outside De Beque2.16.20 ranch must remove lock but still not open12.22.20 Finding of Fact CR 200 judge Jackson 68 pages
12.23.20 judge jackson 3 page order