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Highways, Rights-of-Way

New information added on December 18, 2009

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See Also

Government Land Acquisition

New York City Watershed

Eminent Domain - National

Waterways Issues - New York


A Review of the Law of Easements
Continuing education course available, document covers fundamentals of easement law and more. Concepts discussed enable an understanding of many principles of easement law in this country.
By Schroeder Law Offices, P.C.
Serving Oregon, Washington, Idaho & Nevada since 1991
An informative website on right of way issues presented as a public service by
Allen, Williford & Seale,
Real Estate Appraisers


In-Depth Information

  • James McCulley"Victory: Old Mountain Road Opened to Motor Vehicles" - By James McCulley, President, Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, Lake Placid, N.Y., Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Lake George, N.Y., October 17, 2009)
    Jim McCulley's first-hand account of his successful battle to restore motorized use to Old Mountain Road between Keene and Lake Placid brings the entire history to life. This is the first time DEC has been forced in court, both in the Essex County Supreme Court and in the DEC Administrative Court, to open up a town road that the agency tried to close.
  • Carol W. LaGrasse"DEC Administrative Judge Rules in Favor of McCulley's Use of Old Mountain Road" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, May 31, 2009
    The DEC's Chief DEC Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds concluded that the Department of Environmental Conservation staff failed to overcome the presumption that Old Mountain Road between the towns of North Elba and Keene in Essex County continues to exist as a public highway, whether as a town road or other legal public right-of way. DEC Commissioner Alexander B. Grannis then dismissed the DEC enforcement proceeding that had been brought against James W. McCulley because he drove his truck into the Adirondack Forest Preserve on the road.
    • DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONER, May 19, 2009, In the Matter of the Alleged Violation of Article 9 of the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 196 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, by James W. McCulley, Respondent, DEC Case No. R5-20050613
      HEARING REPORT OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, March 27, 2009, In the Matter of the Alleged Violation of Article 9 of the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 196 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR"), by James W. McCulley, Respondent, DEC Case No. R5-20050613
  • Edwin Navin"Summary Judgement over Survey Maps in Property Encroachment" - By Edwin Navin, Montreal, Canada, and Property Owner in Saranac, N.Y., Select Citizen's Panel - Brief Presentation, Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
    Mr. Navin discussed a critical aspect of his case, Navin v. Mosquera, which also involved the Adirondack Park Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. His surveyor showed that the bridge built by his neighbor Mosquera encroached over the boundary, but the court accepted Mosquera's survey claiming there was no encroachment and awarded a summary judgment without hearing the evidence.
  • John S. Marwell"The Navigable Waterways Controversy" - By John S. Marwell, Esq., Shamberg Marwell Davis & Hollis, Mt. Kisco, New York, Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
    Recreationists are trying to create new rights by re-defining the well established standard of navigability in favor of the public at the expense of property owners. The Sierra Club and a group within the New York State Attorney General's Office and Department of Environmental Conservation orchestrated an effort to pass regulations and use a test case to create a right of passage by canoe or kayak, including extensive dragging and portaging. The Sierra Club's test case was to send canoeists down the shallow, rocky river through the Adirondack League Club's 53,000 acres of pristine property. The club sued the canoeists for trespass and the state intervened in favor of the canoeists. The Court of Appeals adhered to the traditional standard of commercial utility but added a recreational use test, which was narrowly defined in a settlement.

Sign - To the Twin Graves...
Photo Gallery
Our walk to a small graveyard along an old Indian Lake town road barricaded by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enlarge the Adirondack Forest Preserve wilderness shocked us with the realization that DEC is eradicating roads, trails, and history.
  • "Essex County Judge Saves Old Road Through Forest Preserve" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, April 27, 2005
    Overturning the conviction of James McCulley for driving his snowmobile on Old Mountain Road in the Adirondack Forest Preserve in the North Elba, Judge Andrew Halloran ruled that the road, established by the Legislature in 1810, could not be closed by the Department of Environmental Conservation's regulations.
  • "Landowner Access to Great Sacandaga Lake is Squeezed"
    - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from NY Property Rights Clearinghouse, PRFA, Fall 2003)
    Conflicts raged over the Hudson River - Black River Regulating District. The District tried to raise access permit fees over 300%. Access permit holder John Barber's Hunt Lake Holding Company sued to keep his lake access location, which the District changed without notice.
  • "Still a Town Highway - Worth Commenting" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003)
    Nearly all town highways in upstate New York are "highways by use." Records have been poorly kept since the "pathmaster" system of many highway districts in each town ended in 1908. Justice in determining which old roads are highways is needed. Town boards should take the responsibility for determining the full extent of their town's highway system.

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