U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Impact Rail Trails
It may not have been widely publicized in the media, but the impact of a recent Supreme Court ruling is of great concern to rail trails across the nation.
On March 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case involving a rail corridor formerly on federal land that is now privately owned (Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust et al. v. United States).
The decision was undoubtedly disappointing for supporters of rail-trails. But the national Rails to Trails Conservancy reports some good news – the reach of this decision is much narrower than has been reported in the press and the vast majority of current and planned rail-trails will not be affected.
The Central Valley Rails to Trails Foundation has been working for the past decade to secure a local corridor to convert into a community trail. That project would not be impacted by this decision because the corridor is owned by two railroad companies “fee simple”.
See more examples of exceptions in this graphic. Read about the decision in this message from the Rails to Trails Conservancy.