Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

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miah66
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Joined: July 6th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by miah66 » January 10th, 2017, 11:10 am

Last year Republican Senate President Mark Schoesler and State Representative Joe Schmick used a budget proviso easement to close this park land and give it to 200 adjacent landowners without any public notice or hearings reported at http://savethejohnwaynetrail.com

A 135 mile 6,000 acre stretch of land, which the state purchased from the railroad for $3,000,000 in 1985, was taken away from frequent users such as bicyclists, hikers, horse riders, Boy Scouts, geologists, tourists, and historical advocates, without a single conversation ever held with any of them publicly.

http://northcascadehiker.com/like-to-hi ... ayne-trail

Here is a feature length doc that is eye opening:

https://vimeo.com/198609823

Please consider signing the petition @ http://savethejohnwaynetrail.com/

More land transfers are coming down the pike! Be vigilant.
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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Rand Man
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Joined: January 4th, 2017, 11:09 am

Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by Rand Man » January 10th, 2017, 12:35 pm

How did the railroad obtain the right to build their tracks there? because:

8-1 decision, 2014 US "Supreme Court ruled that the railroad’s abandoned right of way reverts to the private landowner.

the decision appears to apply only to privately-held land transferred by the United States subject to an existing railroad easement that is subsequently abandoned. Many thousands of miles of trails along former railroad routes are situated on federal, state or local public lands, or on routes that were originally conveyed to the railroad companies in fee, rather than as easement. The decision does nothing more than confirm what has for centuries been the law of easements: an easement is a right to use another’s land for a specified purpose, and when the holder of the easement expressly or impliedly abandons its use, the easement no longer encumbers the underlying land."

http://www.rmmenvirolaw.com/2014/03/u-s ... ht-of-way/

http://www.americantrails.org/resources ... court.html

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miah66
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by miah66 » January 10th, 2017, 1:05 pm

The decision you refer to was regarding a case in Wyoming. This rail line went bankrupt and this land was sold to the state of Washington for $3M, and relief for back taxes that the railroad owed the state. I am not certain, but this land was never owned by adjacent landowners. A court case 35 years ago settled this matter. This was a covert attempt to secretly give away land with no public hearing or input by using a budget provision (much like the Federal gov't is going to attempt to do w/ public lands during Trump's presidency).

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2015/09/ ... eer-trail/
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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Rand Man
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by Rand Man » January 10th, 2017, 1:21 pm

"I am not certain, but this land was never owned by adjacent landowners."

How did the railroad obtain the right to place their tracks there? An answer to the question is essential for justice.

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miah66
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by miah66 » January 10th, 2017, 1:36 pm

Rand Man wrote:"I am not certain, but this land was never owned by adjacent landowners."

How did the railroad obtain the right to place their tracks there? An answer to the question is essential for justice.
Some more info regarding this specific ruling and it's impacts on rails to trails here:

http://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/ ... il-trails/

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2014/03/ ... d-be-safe/

I should note however, that this is all BESIDES the point I was initially trying to highlight, that this budget provision would have transfered 130 miles of State Park out of public ownership with NO PUBLIC INPUT and BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

Instagram @pdxstrider

Rand Man
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by Rand Man » January 10th, 2017, 1:55 pm

I see your point, but it could be a mute point if it was not public land (State Park) by law.

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retired jerry
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by retired jerry » January 10th, 2017, 1:57 pm

thanks for posting this

worrying

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Bosterson
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by Bosterson » January 10th, 2017, 3:54 pm

Rand Man wrote:I see your point, but it could be a mute [sic] point if it was not public land (State Park) by law.
Do you not find $3M land ownership transactions to be legally binding? Do you find that ownership disputes are best addressed through backdoor policy shenanigans rather than publicly in the courts? Did you find any history of ownership disputes that would make your line of questioning relevant before you began asking?
Will hike off trail for fun.

Rand Man
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by Rand Man » January 10th, 2017, 4:15 pm

My expectation is that the facts would show that people had an easement placed on their land way back when, now they've had their land returned to them.

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drm
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Re: Washington Rail to Trail threatened with closure

Post by drm » January 12th, 2017, 2:52 pm

None of the articles posted suggests that the reason for the giveaway was a lapsed easement of private land. The reasons given are lack of funds to fix the trail, lack of interest in the trail, and damage caused by users. Locally we have seen that adjacent owners of the Klickitat Trail seem to think that they should have priority rights to lapsed railroads just because they are closest, and I this thinking is common among those who want free use of public lands, like the Bundys. Furthermore, popular trails attract people, and many rural landowners want to protect their privacy.

While I have no knowledge otherwise, anybody want to guess as to whether some of these private landowners who would get free land are either contributors or friends of the legislators trying to push this through? The legislators really goofed with their typo in the bill last year. With towns now passing resolutions against the giveaway, the momentum is moving in the right direction.

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