Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Default Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    My question involves an inholding single access easement in the state of: North Carolina

    Should an easement dating back to 1897 which preexists the Weeks Act in 1911 (which founded the US Forest system) have been grandfathered and deeded to my property by the Forest Service? Instead the USFS waited until the 1980s to demand a Special Use Permit fee that started out at $75 every three years and has currently escalated to nearly $400 per year. This Special Use USFS easement is a single lane road that is the only access to my inholding farm and home and that ends at my home on one end and is cut off and inaccessible to the USFS by my deeded easement and gate at the far end.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Easements Through Usfs Land That Pre Existed the Weeks Act

    It appears the easement was never properly perfected over the years. You need to go higher in the USFS, then to your congressman and senator.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    if there was an easement way back when, how was it documented? Was it granted to the owners of your property at the time? Was this easement actively used continuously since 1897? Who owned the servient tenement when the easement was created?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    Thank you for your help. I accept that you are not an attorney. You have already asked more sensible questions than most I have spoken with. The fact that my property is an inholding that has always be surrounded by either private or FS land andhas had people living on the farm since it was established in 1897 would I hope show that the road has been in continuous use since that time. The first part of the road is private and gated. I own a deeded easement and the gate. The deeded easement, which is registered with the register of deeds and part of my deed cuts off the USFS segment leading to my home. As for who owned the servient tenement initially, it appears to have been owned by a land investment co. and later the initial road leading to the FS road was owned by the family who sold the deeded easement in 1967. Back when my farm was first settled no one else lived near this remote home. Even now there is only one home 1.5 miles from my own. I hope you might be able to tell me of some law that would help me gain control of my privacy and stop the trespassing and road damage that I am required to repair by the USFS.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should also point out that the USFS roads that affect my life so are not on the Federal Motor Vehicle Usage Map and are not supposed to be used by vehicles, risking a $5K fine or imprisonment. However the FS has refused to enforce the Motor Vehicle Usage Act and continues to misinform the public saying that they may use the private road which preceeds the USFS roads, causing me a great deal of friction with armed hostile hunters. The USFS has been trespassing over a private road to access their road that is not on the MVUM upon which vehiles are verboten and they have encouraged the public to trespass as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    If you have a deeded easement that is not written such that it is extinguished by a transfer of the servient tenement, your rights continue even if the underlying land (the servient tenement) is sold or transferred. Your rights cannot be abrogated by such a simple action. Your rights continue for as long as you do not release them or they are removed by a court's action.


    Now, with that, as long as your rights are not denied, your claim on the easement is no greater than the granting instrument declares. As long as those rights are not denied, the servient tenant can grant any rights to any other they choose. That means if the USFS allows hunters into the land, they USFS can allow them to use the easement. Their does come a question of whom is responsible for maintaining the lane though. It is generally accepted that the user of an easement is responsible to maintain the easement. If it is shared, (as yours would be if the USFS allows others to use it), then the liability for maintenance is also shared rationed equally to the amount of use of each liable party. Who maintains your easement?

    Personally, I cannot see them being able to charge you diddly squat to you for you to use the easement nor to any others attempting to access your land.

    I suspect there is a meeting of the parties in a courtroom in your future. The situation sounds too involved to be able to settle without a courts intervention.

    There are a couple of surveyors that post on this forum. Hopefully they will address your issue as they are definitely more aware of the laws involved here. Beyond that, they are a couple of really great and informative guys that generally provide well detailed explanations of the laws and rules involving a given situation.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    Thank you for your prompt response. I fear you are correct about a meeting in court rooms. I wish I had any faith whatsoever in obtaining justice in our courts these days. It very much appears that the jack booted thugs that have replaced Smokey the Bear have no respect for privacy or ones right to peace. Clearly my property has been taken literally and figuratively as I can no longer use it as intended. I now feel that my case is about takings and not just an easement battle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,579

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    In dealing with the USFS there are several things which need to be understood.

    First, of course, is that it is a huge bureaucracy and no better or worse than any other.

    Second, it's critical mass is in the western states where most of it's operations, acres, and personnel exist. The most important distinction between, say, Idaho and North Carolina is that most of the USFS land in Idaho has always been owned by the Federal Government. As such, the USFS has extensive authority to make it's own rules and enforce them. Once land is patented out to private or state ownership, this authority is extinguished even for such land subsequently reacquired by the Federal Government.

    Unfortunately the thinking of the USFS in the eastern states still frequently reflects this western idea, even though it is invalid. The USFS in the eastern states acquired land just as any other purchaser of previously patented lands, public or private.

    The little secret that the USFS is not going to tell you is that real property rights, whether boundaries, easements, cemeteries, etc. in your state which preceded US ownership, and were not otherwise extinguished, are not going to be decided by some BLM administrative court in another state, but by your own county court according to your state laws.

    This is all assuming, of course, that the original 1897 easement is still valid and has not been extinguished or modified along the way. I would say that researching this should be your next step.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    Also, this may be something your Member of Congress can help you with. They can sometimes do the darndest things for constituents, when the spirit moves them.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    You give me hope. I have researched the deed all the way back to the original land grant that I had to obtain from the state archives in Raleigh. My property is one of the few undivided land grants left in my county. Another issue with the FS, besides their taking my easement, is that they have reduced my 150 acre original land grant down to 89 acres based upon a partial survey that was done in 1897. I was told that the property had never been surveyed when I bought it, but felt that as it was surrounded by the USFS that I could trust their survey. Many of my neighbors have also had their property taken by FS survey. My county tax accessor researched my deed and revised my acerage back to the original 150 acres, but this probably just means that I shall have to pay more taxes and not that I can reclaim my land. Unfortunately my US Congress person and US Senators have been no help whatsoever even given the most blatant displays of fraud by the USFS. But perhaps I should try again. Would you have any ideas about how to approach my county judge about this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Getting Rights to an Easement Through USFS Land That Predates the Weeks Act

    Cant help you with the legal issues, but one thing you might refrain from doing is referring to anybody as a "jack booted thug". This will not help your case at all. Its best to remember that your dealing with an actual person, somebody who probably means you no ill-will.

    Best of luck to you.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Personal Easement vs Easement That Runs with the Land
    By pineofgreen in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-13-2010, 05:30 PM
  2. When Does an Easement Run With the Land
    By crown79 in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-20-2009, 08:28 AM
  3. Land Easement in Texas
    By Sophia Fowler in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-23-2008, 06:22 AM
  4. Establishing Easement Due to Land Division
    By emfulton in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-03-2008, 05:15 AM
  5. Land locked with easement / right-of-way
    By merfoard in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-13-2006, 01:05 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources