Black Hills couple challenge Forest Service easement, public use of road
Questions over easement's validity led to law enforcement response
A Black Hills couple is accusing the U.S. Forest Service of using strong-arm tactics with law enforcement after they questioned the legality of a road easement on their land.
Brenten and Robin Lavelle argue the easement which is used by the public on Bear Ridge Road is no longer valid. The couple has filed suit against the federal government seeking the termination of the easement under the terms of which it was granted.
Bear Ridge Road is near the South Dakota/Wyoming border west of Spearfish. On July 2, 1976, landowners John and Jean Miller granted an easement to the Forest Service along the land. The agreement allowed for an easement 66-feet in width for a road along with additional width required to protect cuts and fills.
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