The RS2477 Threat

Lands at Risk

Threats to
Private Property



Act Now!




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North Dakota


The State of North Dakota has taken aim at roadless areas on the Dakota Prairie Grassland, using RS 2477 a tool the State hopes to eliminate the Forest Service’s abilities to protect these rare prairie wildlands. The State is using every legal tool in its arsenal to get control of routes in roadless areas, with the apparent purpose of destroying their wilderness potential.

For example, in early 2003, North Dakota put the Forest Service on notice that it intended to press RS 2477 claims to two jeep-tracks inside grassland roadless areas, claiming as ‘constructed highways’ these routes which the Forest Service doesn’t maintain and which are so inconsequential they do not appear on agency visitor maps.

The 2003 claims followed North Dakota’s 2001 federal court challenge to the Roadless Area Conservation Rule on the grounds that protecting roadless areas would disrupt the State’s RS 2477 claims. This despite the fact that the Roadless Rule clearly stated it would have no effect on such valid claims. While the State has no real legal argument, public records show that the Forest Service is negotiating a potential settlement with the State that apparently addresses the RS 2477 issues. The State has also challenged the Dakota Prairie Grasslands forest plan as a way to try to press RS 2477 claims.


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