Wyoming Easement Question.

bullbugle307

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Jul 19, 2018
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I have a question about using an easement to possibly access landlocked public property. My wife and I are in the process of buying a small property to build a cabin on that is accessed by an easement on a ranch road that takes you several miles through the ranch before it reaches the cabin subdivision. At one point, the access road going to the subdivision touches a BLM section that is otherwise landlocked in the ranch. I would like to think that a guy could hunt that public since it touches a road you are allowed to use, but can you be denied access to that public since that easement you have to drive on the road exists with the purpose of allowing you access the property you own further along the way. I guess what I'm asking is, are easements that cross private property to access property you own to be used exclusively for the access of your property and even though it goes through BLM you can't use the road to access it? I met the rancher recently and he seems to be a very nice guy and I feel like I should probably just approach him directly about the subject. That being said, I'm a little nervous about it because his family runs an outfitting operation on the ranch and he probably doesn't really want to have too many people hunting the BLM within his ranch just because it touches the road easement. I plan to ask the local warden or regional access coordinator about it before I talk to the rancher (if and when the sale gets finalized) but I thought I would see if anyone else has had this experience and what was decided and how it was worked out?
 

Addicting

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Have you done the title work yet to see if there are deed restrictions that apply to the easement? We went to buy some a few years ago and there were 9 pages of restrictions. Needless to say the deal was nixed after reading them all.
 

MTGomer

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I highly doubt the Warden has the slightest clue in the particulars of this easement. Get a copy of the easement document from the County recorder and read it. You may already have a copy of it in your title work. Or, look at the plat of your subdivision and if the easement road is part of the subdivision it will be dedicated on the plat. Read the dedication, what does it say?
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Apr 5, 2019
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Both of the reponders above are correct. Ultimately, you need to read the easement--typically an access easement reads that the purpose is for ingress and egress only. I would doubt that stopping along the way to access adjacent property is part of that. If the road actually runs through the BLM, then you would need a separate easement from the BLM. In the latter case, I would suspect that you could stop off and hunt the BLM. If the road does not run through the BLM, I would try to be VERY sure that the surveyed easement actually touches the BLM. On my road easement, the road was defined by the terrain and surveyed without particular regard for where the 30-ft easement touched adjacent property. If you are certain that it actually touches, I would consult an attorney and ask them to provide their opinion on the easement--of course, even if you're within your rights, you'll likely lose any amicable relationship that you might have with the rancher.
 

ElkFever2

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Iowa
I have read a few easement agreements in IA and MN. When easements run through hunting ground, whether private or landlocked public, I have not ever seen the landowner or lessor take deviations from the ingress/egress lightly. I have seen the sheriff called when someone stopped their car to let their dog run out and take a piss 30 feet from the road.

I met the rancher recently and he seems to be a very nice guy and I feel like I should probably just approach him directly about the subject.
Exactly. I'd approach this from the perspective of: accessing this BLM chunk is a possibility only. Let's say you do buy the lot and you build a relationship with the rancher over time. If would not be unreasonable to ask him, maybe a year or so later, if you could cross his property to hunt to BLM in a manner that you know does not interfere with the outfitting. For example, the outfitting is for deer/antelope, and you ask to hunt sharpies at times when outfitter is not operating that week. If you approach this with presumption or legal minutia, it's a great way to piss him off and ruin a good neighbor relationship, even if you did end up being technically right about access
 
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