New access law


Veteran member
Feb 28, 2011

This is a big deal.

Dear Fellow Sportsman,

One of the great opportunities of living in Nevada is access to the public lands. Nevada is more than 86% public domain. Sadly, our ability to access these lands - which belong to all of us - is growing increasingly restricted. I, like many Nevadans, have fought the BLM and USFS for decades about this. However, this letter has to do with another huge and growing problem. Private landowners are locking down roads that lead to public land. Although not allowed by law, there was no enforcement mechanism.

Until now.

On July 1, 2019 a new law, SB316, which I sponsored, now makes it a crime to block legal easements to the public domain. (Click here for laws and penalties). An easement gives you a RIGHT to cross private property. The Federal government in 1866 legalized what are known as RS2477 roads, which basically granted a permanent easement, using such roads, to the public domain. The vast majority of roads in rural Nevada qualify as RS2477 roads.

The RS2477 road issue has been used by counties to successfully fight efforts by the federal government to close numerous roads. Yet, the same rules for easements apply to PRIVATE land as well. To close such a road has been illegal under federal law but unenforced and until the passage of SB316, there was no enforcement mechanism in Nevada law.

Hence, Nevadans have been LOCKED OUT and threatened with TRESPASS for attempting to use LEGAL easements! Nevada has now put teeth in the law and I have personally notified every Sheriff and District Attorney of this change.

There is another legal easement concept, called “prescriptive easement”, found in Nevada case law. Basically, any road that has been open to the public for five years or more become permanent public rights of way. Again, blocking a prescriptive easement road is a crime under the new law. Hopefully, as the word spreads about the new law, landowners will unlock their gates. If issues arise, however, contact law enforcement and use the new law to halt these abuses.

For those of you wanting more details on the RS2477 issue, case law, and the Nevada Revised Statutes dealing with all of the above, please contact me and I will forward a more detailed explanation.

Please feel free to forward this and help spread the word. And, this year, enjoy YOUR public lands!


Senator Ira Hansen
Nevada's 14th District​


Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
Because the people who were locking gates to lands had teethe in the decision making process...know that.

Our entire govt is corrupt.
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Veteran member
Apr 11, 2011
Too bad so many Wyoming legislators are connected to the agricultural industry. It would be great if Wyoming could provide more access to Federal lands.