The Revised Statute 2477 Right Of Way is a human right granted by the U.S. Congress in 1865. It recognizes the fundamental right to travel across the Earth over unclaimed land. Part of the Mining Act of 1865, it allowed the construction of roads, trails, bridges, canals, railroads, and other recognizable paths known as “Highways.”
Construction of an RS 2477 highway was established by repeatedly using the same path over the earth until a visible way 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.
An RS2477 right-of-way must have been constructed on public lands that were not claimed under the various homestead and mining laws. Construction on an RS 2477 right-of-way must have began before the land was withdrawal from public entry.
RS 2477 was a grant that was authorized upon the passage of The Mining Act of 1865. It did not require authorization, documentation, or recognition of any kind.
FLPMA repealed the original RS 2477 statute.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.
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).