NEW ALBANY – Some recreational trails may be jeopardized by a Monday U.S. Supreme Court decision, but the Tanglefoot Trail is not among them, said the trail’s attorney.
SCOTUS ruled in a Wyoming case that an 1875 law conveyed only an easement, not title, to companies to build railroads on lands that were later granted to individuals.
The Court’s decision “threatens existing rail-trails, mainly in the West, that utilize federally granted rights-of-way and are not railbanked,” lamented the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
“I do not believe the decision will have an impact on the GM&O Tanglefoot Trail, because it was created pursuant to the federal rail banking law, which allows the corridor to be preserved for future economic development,” said Thad Mueller, attorney for the Tanglefoot board. “When railbanking occurs, there is no abandonment. The Wyoming case did not involved railbanked property.”