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State Files Notice of Intent to Sue to Quiet Title on RS 2477 Trails


March 11, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today asked the Alaska Department of Law to notify U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar that the State of Alaska intends to file suit to quiet title on eight RS 2477 trails in the Fortymile area. That notice was issued today.

"The State of Alaska considers RS 2477 rights of way critical for the Alaska transportation network to access critical state resources and public lands and waters," Governor Parnell said. "These are Alaska's roads to the future."

Revised Statute 2477 granted rights of way over federal lands. In order to assure the state's title to these rights of way, the state is required by federal law to send a 180-day notice before initiating any action. 

Although Congress granted the RS 2477 rights of way under the 1866 Federal Mining Act, federal land managers generally do not recognize them until title has been established in federal court. 

In order to assert and protect the public's access in this area, the state has sent notice to quiet title on the following trails:

Fortymile Station - Eagle Trail aka RST 1594
Fortymile Station - Eagle Government Supply Route aka RST 1892
Teddy's Fork Trail - aka RST 787
North Fork of Fortymile - Big Delta Trail aka RST 379
Ketchumstuk - Tanacross Trail aka RST 391
Ketchumstuk - Chicken Trail aka RST 421
Ketchumstuk Winter Trail aka RST 789
Chicken-Fish-McKinley Creek Trail aka RST 1832

RS 2477 trails are established by documenting the construction or use of historically significant trails and roads that crossed unreserved federal lands before the 1866 mining law was repealed in 1976.

The Fortymile Region has a rich historical record of mining and other uses, which still occur today. Portions of these trails played a key role in opening Alaska to exploration and settlement, and served as critical communication links to the Lower 48.

Governor Parnell requested a $599,000 amendment in the FY2012 operating budget to research and document historical and physical evidence necessary to support litigation.       

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