A gate was recently installed on Scenic View Road by landowner, Michael Karrels within the past couple of months. The road, which leads to the Terry Badlands, runs through portions of deeded land owned by Karrels as well as land owned and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management
Currently, due to the placement of the gate, which straddles a cattle guard, one must cross over half of the cattle guard in order to open the gate.
Although county commissioners agreed that this gate may dissuade tourists from viewing the Terry Badlands at Scenic View, they noted as long as the gate remains unlocked they foresee no legal action being taken. Commissioners confirmed that the road is a gas tax road.
BLM Public Affairs Specialist Mark Jacobsen said that although the BLM promotes the Terry Badlands Scenic View in several brochures, the agency is not in the business of determining who owns a road. Jacobsen noted rather than putting up a gate, landowners can post signs telling travels to stay on the road.
Road access has become a statewide issue. When Bill and Ronnie Robinson of Blaine County denied access to thousands of acres of public lands on a road that led through 3.8 miles of their land a court ruling determined the couple could post their lands for no trespassing but stated gates or fences across the road could not be maintained. The fact that the road had existed as far back as 1917, prior to the deeded land’s patent existence was a significant factor in the ruling.
Published March 19, 2008