Lee Bill Seeks to Protect Utah’s Historic Roads

October 26, 2023


WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Historic Roadways Protection Act to safeguard roads that were vital in shaping Utah's rich pioneer history. This bill comes as a response to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) recent decision to close 317 miles of roads in Utah, including many that have significant historical value.

Of the bill, Senator Lee stated, "These roads aren't just pathways; they're a testament to Utah's rich history and the pioneers who shaped our state. It's crucial that we ensure their protection for future generations."


Key Points:


Historical Roads: An 1866 law allowed for the creation of roads on public lands to help with western settlements. These historically important roads remained even after Congress updated the law in 1976. Today, 317 miles of such roads are at risk of closure by the BLM, including 114 miles with historical value.
Legal Actions: 22 counties in Utah are currently in court, advocating for the protection of these heritage roads. Given the volume of roads under discussion and the importance of the outcome, the Historic Roadways Protection Act proposes a halt on any road closures until these cases have been decided.
Bill Specifics: Senator Lee's bill prohibits using federal money to enact new travel plans in Utah until all the historic road cases have been settled. Additionally, Sen. Lee's legislation pauses any previous plans by the BLM to change how these lands are used until the courts reach a decision on the old roads.



For bill text, click HERE
For a one-pager, click HERE.