From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 39 - December 22, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County adopts LaBarge Creek Road

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners took action Tuesday to officially adopt a new road into the county road system. Tuesday's resolution created the LaBarge Creek County Road (23-138) as it traverses state and federal lands within Sublette County.

County Surveyor Paul Scherbel reported that he had prepared a letter for the commission. The letter, addressed to the Lincoln County Commission, which has been the driving force behind county road status for the existing road, provides that county with an update of the activities of Sublette County in regard to the road.

"They are the ones who really want it," Commissioner Bill Cramer noted.

The commission approved the letter to Lincoln County. The letter suggests that Lincoln County's road foreman should contact the Sublette County Surveyor to learn where maintenance work should be terminated. The letter noted that "it might be well to maintain the roadway" through the private property in tract 41, "unless a cease-and-desist request" is made by the landowners, Linda Zager and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. "If there is no objection after 10 years, the right-of-way may be obtained as per Wyoming statutes, section 24-1-101."

That section of the statute refers to adverse possession proceedings.

The letter noted that landowner Bill Busbice "has not accepted our request for an easement."

According to the letter, "You will remember that Lincoln County has reconstructed and maintained this part of the roadway, rationalizing that due to topographic constraints it was not practical to construct a cul-de-sac at the county line and so continued a practical place on the state lands in tract 45."

"It may be affirmed that the county has maintained that section of the roadway since 8 May 1985. Therefore, if deemed desirable, a right-of-way by adverse possession may be obtained utilizing W.S. 24-1-101."

Scherbel asked the commission about writing a letter to Busbice, notifying him that if he doesn't enter into a road easement with the county, the county will initiate adverse possession proceedings.

Commissioner Betty Fear said she wants to know what the elk foundation plans to do first.

"Until we know what they are going to do, I'd be reluctant to send that type of a letter," Fear said.

The commission authorized Scherbel to write a letter to Busbice, putting him on notice that "reluctantly" the county would initiate adverse possession proceedings.

"That doesn't mean we'll take it," Cramer said, but that way the county could initiate proceedings if it so desired.

As for the two remaining private property owners on the road, the letter noted, "No progress on the Eccles and Harrower lands."

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