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“Rulings effect on area trails unknown”

“Parks managers from Pierce and Thurston counties say its too soon to know what effect, if any, a ruling announced by the U.S. Supreme Court will have on popular South Sound multiuse trails.

On Monday [March 10], the Supreme Court sided with a Wyoming property owner in a dispute over a bicycle trail built on an old rail bed. The 8-1 ruling means the government might have to pay more than $100 million in compensation claims involving 10,000 properties in 30 states.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the government was wrong to assert that it owns the trail. The ruling states that government easements used for railroads expired when the railroads closed.

The South Sound is home to several Rails-to-Trails projects, including the Foothills Trail between Puyallup and South Prairie and Thurston Countys Chehalis Western Trail and the Yelm-Tenino Trail.

Kerry Hibdon, parks manager for Thurston County, said, ‘Were facing the great unknown.’

‘We will certainly research it and determine what impact this has on the trails,’ he said,” quoting Craig Hill in The Olympian.
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Posted by Steve on March 14, 2014 at 4:30 am | Permalink

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