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To the Honorable Darrell Issa,

There continues to be great controversy over the legality of roads that traverse U.S. public lands.

Please reference the link below regarding a 1932 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court's decision addresses the history and actual intent of the Surface and Mining Act of 1866.

Most roads in the western United States were constructed as a result of this Act. Whereas, Congress' intent, as opined by the court, was NOT the granting of a right-of-way for FUTURE construction of roads across U.S. public lands.

Clearly, the present Congress, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, other U.S. agencies, States, and city and county governments, have misinterpreted the intent of the 1866 Act for over 145-years!

Are we to bulldoze away all roads in the western States constructed from 1866 to 1976 in order to comply with the intent of an 1866 Act, which was misinterpreted by all parties for 145-years?

Surely not!

Your help is needed to introduce a bill to Congress, similar to the intent of the 1866 Act, wherein all roads constructed across the public domain from 1866 to 1976 are 'grandfathered' in, in the same manner as were all roads constructed prior to enactment of the 1866 Act.


Keith Pullman
Ranchita, CA XXXXXXX

284 US 463 Central Pac Ry Co v. Alameda County Cal | OpenJurist

P.S. Please also consider the following:

Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, declared in Article 4 of the Northwest Ordinance, and later by law under the U.S. Constitution, applicable to then existing U.S. territory: "The navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said territory, as to the citizens of the United States, and those of any other States that may be admitted into the confederacy..."

U.S. territory acquired by the United States: All existing roads across newly acquired territory became public roads under U.S. law. As new roads were established across the territories, these roads, too, became public roads under U.S. law. As States were formed out of the territories, all existing roads within the States remained public roads. The people, acting individually and as towns, and as city, county and state governments, continued to construct roads across U.S. public lands from 1866 to 1976 (the date the Act was repealed). What about roads constructed from 1866 to 1976? It only stands to reason, in accordance to the same pre-existing right of possession, that these roads stand as valid claims.
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