San Bernardino County Goes After Federal
In California, an aggressive effort by San Bernardino County to survey
specific routes and map claims—including wagon roads, trails, and
horse and footpaths—has resulted in 2,567 miles of road claims in the
Mojave National Preserve and another 2,419 miles elsewhere in the
California desert. The Mojave National Preserve is home to colored
sand dunes, mile-high mountains, bighorn sheep, and the endangered
Read San Bernardino County's September 18, 2001, resolution in
which it claims as "constructed highways" any "trails, horse trails,
hiking trails and footpaths" used by the public as "constructed
highways" under RS 2477.
Bernardino County continues to leave the door open for expanding foot
trails into highways through National Park Service lands, but promises
to be 'very judicious' in pushing forward its claims (whatever that
Read a May 14, 2003, letter from the chairman of the San
Bernardino County Commission.
Read an opinion piece from November 16, 2003,
about the threat to
Pursuing bogus RS 2477 claims squanders taxpayers' money and
undermines the recreation economy of Southern California's desert
a June 21, 2004, op-ed in the Press Enterprise.
Bernardino County begins its march toward the courthouse, filing a
notice of intent to sue
over a dozen or so routes on April 4, 2006.
follows through, filing suit to 14 routes on October 26, 2006.
their complaint with maps of each route, all of which cut through
the Mojave National Preserve. Read a
article about the suit and a
stinging January 21, 2007, editorial
from the San Bernardino
County Sun calling the lawsuit “largely pointless.”
Learn more about the
Mojave Preserve at
A Central District of California judge granted conservation groups
intervention in San Bernardino County's case seeking title to a dozen
routes inside the Mojave National Preserve. This is the third Quiet
Title Act (QTA) case involving R.S. 2477 claims in California in
recent months in which the groups have won the right to bring the
public interest to the table.
Read the October 23, 2007 Opinion. And a