Ravalli County contested FS Access

tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
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Good for him if that is what the easement says.
It doesn't.

Old news.


The Ninth Circuit of Appeals recently affirmed a district court decision to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to close a road used to access the Bitterroot National Forest south of Darby.
Two landowners along the Robbins Gulch Road filed a lawsuit in 2018 that claimed the U.S. Forest Service had exceeded the scope of a 1962 easement across their properties by allowing public access.

The road is located south of the Conner cutoff just off U.S. Highway 93. It traverses private property for about a mile before it enters national forest lands.

Frustrated by increasing public use of the road, the landowners — Larry Wilkins and Jane Stanton — filed suit under the Quiet Title Act, but a district court judge dismissed the lawsuit in May 2020 saying the action was barred under the act’s 12-year statute of limitations.

Wilkins has owned his property since 1991. Stanton bought hers in 2004.
The landowners argued that their claims — which included challenging the public use of the easement, parking along the easement and the government’s satisfaction of its obligations under the easement — accrued at different times and should have been analyzed on an individual basis.

But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the landowners’ claims were all ultimately premised on the public’s alleged unauthorized use of the road and therefore accrued at the time “when a reasonable landowner should have known of the government’s position that its easement allowed for public use of the road.”
Forest Service maps from 1950 to 2005 identified no restrictions on the road, and together with the historic public use of the road should have alerted a “reasonable landowner of the government’s view regarding public access of the easement more than twelve years before” the landowners filed suit, the ruling stated.

The road receives most of its use during hunting season. The Forest Service closes the road at the property line from Dec. 1 and June 15 to reduce sediment in the creek and protect wildlife.
 
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JLS

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Almost Arkansas…..
We’ve reached the Supreme Court after years of litigation to stop the Forest Service from abusing the easement to effectively take their land without compensation — a clear violation of their constitutional property rights.

On its face, the case should be a slam-dunk. But in litigation against the federal government, there are no guarantees — after all, your adversary is a bureaucracy with an in-house legal team and nearly limitless taxpayer-funded budgets.

What a bunch of horses shit propoganda. If it was such a slam dunk, it wouldn’t be in the Supreme Court.
 

Straight Arrow

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Gallatin Gateway, MT
I must acknowledge that I don't have the document or factual information. However ... it smells like another transplant romanticizing about having a piece of Montana "wilderness" next door all to himself so he can easily access his "mountain man" mountain forest acreage and perpetuate the myth initiated by his mom.

May Mr. Wilkins forgive my stereotypical image, but I've seen too many of these sell-anointed "mountain men" show up in Montana, hunting with a primitive rifle or muzzleloader and packing an eighteen inch self-crafted Bowie knife in their belt, stalking around in knee high moccasins.
 
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neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
It doesn't.

Old news.


The Ninth Circuit of Appeals recently affirmed a district court decision to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to close a road used to access the Bitterroot National Forest south of Darby.
Two landowners along the Robbins Gulch Road filed a lawsuit in 2018 that claimed the U.S. Forest Service had exceeded the scope of a 1962 easement across their properties by allowing public access.

The road is located south of the Conner cutoff just off U.S. Highway 93. It traverses private property for about a mile before it enters national forest lands.

Frustrated by increasing public use of the road, the landowners — Larry Wilkins and Jane Stanton — filed suit under the Quiet Title Act, but a district court judge dismissed the lawsuit in May 2020 saying the action was barred under the act’s 12-year statute of limitations.

Wilkins has owned his property since 1991. Stanton bought hers in 2004.
The landowners argued that their claims — which included challenging the public use of the easement, parking along the easement and the government’s satisfaction of its obligations under the easement — accrued at different times and should have been analyzed on an individual basis.

But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the landowners’ claims were all ultimately premised on the public’s alleged unauthorized use of the road and therefore accrued at the time “when a reasonable landowner should have known of the government’s position that its easement allowed for public use of the road.”
Forest Service maps from 1950 to 2005 identified no restrictions on the road, and together with the historic public use of the road should have alerted a “reasonable landowner of the government’s view regarding public access of the easement more than twelve years before” the landowners filed suit, the ruling stated.

The road receives most of its use during hunting season. The Forest Service closes the road at the property line from Dec. 1 and June 15 to reduce sediment in the creek and protect wildlife.
Thanks, I knew there had to be more to it.
 

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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montana
May Mr. Wilkins forgive my stereotypical image, but I've seen too many of these sell-anointed "mountain men" show up in Montana, hunting with a primitive rifle or muzzleloader and packing an eighteen inch self-crafted Bowie knife in their belt, stalking around in knee high moccasins.
I had Laramie Miller show up in my hunting spot once. mtmuley
 

Wind Gypsy

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Mar 12, 2017
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If I bought a property with an easement that was represented by both the seller and in the wording of the easement as not open to the public, I'd be awfully upset about it too. Seems like maybe it was obviously open to the public all along but only became a concern with more traffic? In that case, they really don't have a leg to stand on if they've owned it that long and done nothing about it ever.
 

tjones

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I remember driving on that road with my dad in the late 60’s and there were no houses along it. The road was there and open to the public when this guy bought the property.

It’s a very popular loop road. Up one drainage and out another.


It was no secret the road got used during hunting season when this guy bought the property.
 
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