January 7, 2016

Cook introduces bill to empower counties

Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley
Victor Valley Daily Press
Staff Reports

Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, this week introduced HR 4313, the Historic Routes Preservation Act.

This bipartisan bill provides an administrative means for the federal government to confirm rights-of-way on public lands administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. One of the only means a county has to confirm a right-of-way is to file a quiet title action in Federal District Court, an expensive and time-consuming process.

After 39 years, many county records have been lost, old maps have been thrown away and witnesses to many roads’ presence and use prior to 1976 are passing on. The Historic Routes Preservation Act solves this problem by creating an administrative process for counties to resolve these rights of way without going to court. It applies only to existing travel routes and does not create new roads on public lands.