In Utah, one way counties fight a possible designation of wilderness is by claiming a road runs through it.
Some commissioners in Utah who fear that
wilderness will ruin local economies cite a law dating from 1866,
R.S. 2477, to claim rights-of-way through Bureau of Land Management
lands that might be considered roadless.
these old roads really roads? Along with other members of the Utah
Wilderness Coalition, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has
enlisted "road warriors' to find out.
are given little more than a map and a documentation form, then
told to go to remote areas of the state and see what is on the
Gail Hoskisson, who coordinates the
effort from the SUWA offices in Salt Lake City, says counties claim
over 6,000 R.S. 2477 roads throughout Utah. That number may not
hold up, thanks to over 256 volunteers who venture into the
backcountry with cameras and notebooks. But more volunteers are
needed. "Everybody that goes out," Hoskisson says, "comes back with
an almost dazed smile."
For more information,
call Hoskisson at 801/350-4854 or the SUWA office at
* Cheryl Fox