Revised Statute 2477

The right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public use, is hereby granted.

What is Revised Statue 2477?

It’s Your Fundamental Right-To-Way Across The Earth.

The Mining Act of 1866 included Section 8, which was later codified as Revised Statute 2477. This grant issued by the US Congress allowed western settlers to establish highways over public lands that were not reserved for use by the public. It is directly responsible for the establishment of Interstate, state, county, and city road systems across the western United States. It is also responsible for the construction of forest roads, mining roads, canals, ditches, bridges and other fundamental access paths that exist today.

“The Right-Of-Way”

The Revised Statute 2477 Right Of Way is a human right granted by the U.S. Congress in 1866. It recognizes the fundamental right to travel across the Earth over unclaimed land. Part of the Mining Act of 1866, it allowed the construction of roads, trails, bridges, canals, railroads, and other recognizable paths known as “Highways.”

“For The Construction of Highways”

Construction of an RS 2477 highway was established by repeatedly using the same path over the earth until a visible route was created. The courts have ruled that animal trails, foot paths, bridleways, and other recognizable paths fall under the term “highway” and are RS 2477 rights-of-way.

“Over Public Land, Not Reserved For Public Use,”

The RS 2477 right-of-way must have been constructed on public lands that were not reserved for the public, or claimed under the various homestead and mining laws. Construction on an RS 2477 right-of-way must have begun before the land was withdrawn from public entry.

“Is Hereby Granted.”

RS 2477 was a grant that was authorized upon the passage of The Mining Act of 1866. It did not require authorization, documentation, or recognition of any kind to build a road on public lands.

How is Revised Statute 2477 a human right?

Rights are reserved in the inherent nature of a Right-Of-Way.

Since the beginning of time, rights-of-way have been considered public spaces and are fundamental to the public forum. They are among several places where individuals can not be trespassed without committing a crime, and have an unalienable right to free speech and communication. Rights-of-way facilitate parading, protesting, dissemination of information, exploration, commerce, news gathering, and the multiple use doctrine.

RS 2477 Rights-of-way contain a bundle of rights including the right to use, right to maintain, and the right to improve. These rights are reserved to the states and its citizens. The scope of these rights covers a width specified by state law, and includes all things that facilitate the use of the right-of-way. This may include roadside pull offs, bridges, drainage ditches, culverts, and the like.

The Blacks Law Dictionary defines a Right-Of-Way as the following:

“The right of passage or of way is a servitude imposed by law or by convention, and by virtue of which one has a right to pass on foot, or horseback, or in a vehicle, to drive beasts of burden or carts, through the estate of another.”

Does RS 2477 Still Apply?

Yes, the Federal Land Policy Management Act recognizes RS 2477 Rights-of-way.

FLPMA repealed the original RS 2477 statute. However, three separate sections of FLPMA declare that Revised Statute 2477 rights-of-way shall not be terminated, and all actions by the secretary shall be subject to these rights.

However, the application of RS 2477 is often overlooked or ignored.

The FLPMA provides new standards for rights-of-way on federal lands which are often applied in favor of RS 2477. These standards lack the protections of RS 2477 and are permitted by federal agencies rather than granted by the U.S. Congress.

The Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) states:

“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.”

FLPMA 701(a), 43 U.S.C. 1701 note (a).

“All actions by the Secretary concerned under this Act shall be subject to valid existing rights.”

FLPMA 701(h), 43 U.S.C. 1701 note (h).

“Nothing in this title shall have the effect of terminating any right-of-way or right-of-use heretofore issued, granted, or permitted.”

FLPMA 509(a), 43 U.S.C. 1769(a).

During the rule-making process, multiple debates took place regarding the repeal of Revised Statute 2477. These debates, published in the federal register, are fundamental to understanding the legislature’s intention of these three sections of FLPMA.

“It was not the intent of the proposed rulemaking, nor is it the intent of this final rulemaking, to diminish or reduce the rights conferred by a right-of-way granted prior to October 21, 1976. . . . In addition, if questions should arise regarding the rights of a right-of-way holder under a grant or statute, the earlier editions of the Code of Federal Regulations on rights-of-way will remain available to assist in interpretation of the rights conferred by the grant or earlier statute. . . . In carrying out the Department’s management responsibilities, the authorized officer will be careful to avoid any action that will diminish or reduce the rights conferred under a right-of-way grant issued prior to October 21, 1976.”

51 Fed.Reg. 6542 (February 25, 1976)