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Thread: Using Right of Ways for access.

  1. #1

    Default Using Right of Ways for access.

    This is a short extraction from another post. Most Right of ways are NOT for the general public to use.

    Right of ways are not necessarily for public use. I OWN to the middle of the HOPE Road, I gave the State of Alaska a right of way for a Road. The right of way is 50 feet from the center of the road. That does not give you the right to hunt, fish or camp in the right of way. It is a specific right of way for the road.

    Another example, I gave the Chugach Electric Company a Right of way for a Power line. You can not walk, snow machine, ATV, or potty on that right of way. In fact Chugach Electric Company is not even allowed to come up my driveway to the power line right of way with out my permission, which they just learned after doing $2,800.00 damage. The power line right of ways are not to be used buy anyone accept Chugach Electric Employees and then "ONLY" when on official business.

    Everyone who leaves the Hope Road in a Car, Truck, ATV and drives to there bait station is illegal operating a motor vehicle with-in the Chugach National Forest. All of the bear baiter's or hunters, or even hikers who use the Chugach electric service access roads are doing so illegal.

    Further more if Chugach Electric Co. wanted to run anything in the right of way other than electric line, like internet cable they would need to buy another right of way for that application.

  2. #2

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    The Chugach Electric's is an Easement and not a right of way. However it is what is called a "Specific Easement".

  3. #3
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I believe there is a substantial difference between "right of way" and "easement". A Right of Way changes ownership (I think). Thus, the state OWNS the right of way. Not sure about fishing and camping. Obviously illegal to hunt (fire a weapon) from a right of way. Right of way in your case does allow public use, i.e. driving, biking, walking, etc.
    Are there specific state laws regarding camping on public road right of ways?
    An easement does not change ownership. Just allows access. There are public easements across private lands in Alaska. Obviously, Chugach's easement is not public.
    I can imagine trespassing is quite the problem in your area.
    Good subject for hunters, etc.
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  4. #4
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    A right of way does not necessarily change ownership, it "can" be as AGL stated. For example, I purchased an original homestead 25 years ago. Part of the homestead runs down a section line. By law, and depending on what year the property transferred from the Federal government , a right of way for a road exists down section lines. A road can be constructed right down that section line and I will still own and pay taxes on that property.

    However, if I ever wished to subdivide the property and sell I will find the Kenai Borough planning and platting dept. expecting the ROW to become public property if I wished to ever get a subdivision plat approved.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    I believe there is a substantial difference between "right of way" and "easement". A Right of Way changes ownership (I think). Thus, the state OWNS the right of way. Not sure about fishing and camping. Obviously illegal to hunt (fire a weapon) from a right of way. Right of way in your case does allow public use, i.e. driving, biking, walking, etc.
    Are there specific state laws regarding camping on public road right of ways?
    An easement does not change ownership. Just allows access. There are public easements across private lands in Alaska. Obviously, Chugach's easement is not public.
    I can imagine trespassing is quite the problem in your area.
    Good subject for hunters, etc.
    NO......I still own the land under the road, I pay taxes on the land under the road, It is MY land, and they, the State of Alaska has a Right of Way. I can park MY trucks, and MY equipment in the right of way (Obviously not in the road). The stuff I park there has to be Mobile, like skid building, etc. I can use the right of way for MY stuff, but you can't with out my permission. My neighbor has logs cribbed up on MY property "IN" the right of way, with my permission. Now if you park your camper on MY property but in the Right of Way I can block your exit with Low Boys, impound your camper, and charge you $5,000.00 per night.

    People Need to get that someone owns ALL of the Land in Alaska, All of it is owned. But even Public land like Chugach National Forest land is illegal to access accept via Public access points, and not private access points like the Chugach Electric Co. service roads. Which today are packed full of trucks, campers, and travel trailers. If the Forest Service "Law Enforcement" chose to, they could ticket or impound all of those vehicles. I'll leave it to you imagination the results if Chugach Electric Co. needed to use the service road this weekend to make emergency repairs to the line, and your vehicle is blocking the service road, and you are hiking/hunting eight miles away.

    I bring all this up because there is a new sheriff in town (Terri) who is the new head of the Chugach National Forest. And Chugach Electric Co. wants to install locked steel gates on all service roads.

    This is NOT just a Hope Road issue.

  6. #6

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    People generally understand fences and locked gates....hearsay, amibiguous titles and varying interpretations of the law, well, not so much.
    What is taking them so long to put the gates up? Would take a lot of the nonsense out of problem. I'll bet they don't do it...I have yet to see Chugach do anything of the sort anywhere else...If it is done at all, it will be the Feds doing's...not the utilities.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    People generally understand fences and locked gates....hearsay, amibiguous titles and varying interpretations of the law, well, not so much.
    What is taking them so long to put the gates up? Would take a lot of the nonsense out of problem. I'll bet they don't do it...I have yet to see Chugach do anything of the sort anywhere else...If it is done at all, it will be the Feds doing's...not the utilities.
    The OLD head of Chugach National Forest denied their request, is why they are not gated. They are hoping for a better reception from the Head of the Chugach National Forest.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    The OLD head of Chugach National Forest denied their request, is why they are not gated. They are hoping for a better reception from the Head of the Chugach National Forest.
    Not doubting...but it all sounds very strange...All the problems they have had over the years, in the Muni of Anchorage, Pt Mac and main inter-ties...yet to date none are gated that I am aware of. Most are not even signed in any manner.

    Your's must be an unusual ROW...to allow private use up to the driveable surface and yet deny public use...This I have not heard of. I do know that along the Denali Hwy the Public can use, even hunt on the ROW...directly between the driveable surface and Posted Private Properties....State Owned by way of Deeds, mostly Quick Claim Deeds.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Not doubting...but it all sounds very strange...All the problems they have had over the years, in the Muni of Anchorage, Pt Mac and main inter-ties...yet to date none are gated that I am aware of. Most are not even signed in any manner.

    Your's must be an unusual ROW...to allow private use up to the driveable surface and yet deny public use...This I have not heard of. I do know that along the Denali Hwy the Public can use, even hunt on the ROW...directly between the driveable surface and Posted Private Properties....State Owned by way of Deeds, mostly Quick Claim Deeds.
    Chugach Electric wants to Gate ALL of the access points, for one reason is they have to fix, repair, and maintain the service roads. They claim the the property owners will not allow the gates, Not the borough government, not the Native Corporations, not the Forest Service.

  10. #10
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    There is another way to gain access.

    if property owners are asked before hand for access across their property you may find several will grant it. This method is so rarely used it stands out amongst the trespass, and the persons asking for it are recognized as considerate and polite.

    If we find people cutting down our trees for firewood we ask them to desist and leave. If people ask us to cut some trees down for firewood first, we point out where they can have them and allow them to do it.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    There is another way to gain access.

    if property owners are asked before hand for access across their property you may find several will grant it. This method is so rarely used it stands out amongst the trespass, and the persons asking for it are recognized as considerate and polite.
    40+ years ago we had a bear camp in the very back of Cripple Creek here in Hope, Alaska. We were snot'nose greenhorns of about 22 years of age. The only semi-awful way back there was through a old homesteaders property, so every time we would go to Carl Clark and ask permission to cross his property. He always said the same thing, "Now you BOYS don't shoot my horses". And we replied, "No Sir".

    We thought it odd that the OLD man lived in a very small, very dark low roofed cabin, and owned a prime homestead on Resurrection Creek. Strange how life turns out
    Now I am old, live in a small 11' wide by 23' long low ceiling cabin, setting on $950,000.00 worth of land. God, but I like how my live turned out.

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    ... if you park your camper on MY property but in the Right of Way I can block your exit with Low Boys, impound your camper, and charge you $5,000.00 per night...
    Spend any time in Whittier? This is exactly how they make their money on all visitors... by claiming they can charge outrageous fees for being on "their" property. If they hadn't already coined the term "highway robbery", it would be called "getting Whittiered" or something like that.

    Alas, everything you've said about ROW access (or non-access) is correct. And folks need to seriously read the Chugach motor vehicle rules. You may NOT operate any motorized vehicle off the maintained roads within the Chugach forest. Even the old mining roads (for instance, at the start of the Devil's Trail) will land you a HUGE fine by driving anything with a motor on them.
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    In the Matsu Borough I do not pay taxes on the highway right of way. But I do pay taxes on the power-line easement.

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    i have never heard of the state constructing a road such as the hope highway and not buying the land outright ( fee simple) for road construction. public right of way means just that, and nothing more or less to the adjacent owners or the public. section lines are also public access, whether they are "built" or not. they are reserved on the plat for public travel. an easement is entirely different, affecting usually only the property owner and utility or other entity.

  15. #15
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Alas, everything you've said about ROW access (or non-access) is correct. And folks need to seriously read the Chugach motor vehicle rules. You may NOT operate any motorized vehicle off the maintained roads within the Chugach forest. Even the old mining roads (for instance, at the start of the Devil's Trail) will land you a HUGE fine by driving anything with a motor on them.
    Yes that is true but there is a serious lawsuit in the works over the RS2477 trails/roads within the Chugach.
    This lawsuit has the backing of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) and posibly some other groups.
    The president of the GPAA for Alaska is spearheading this.
    To learn more you can attend the Kenai chapter of the GPAA meetings at the Kenai moose lodge at 7pm the first thursday of every month.
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