On August 8, 2008, U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii ruled against Inyo County and their 2006 lawsuit claiming rights-of-way for three Death Valley area roads: Greenwater Valley, Greenwater Canyon, and Last Chance Canyon. The roads are within the 1994 Park expansion area and were closed by the National Park Service when designated as wilderness by Congress.
Although environmental extremist content that Inyo County was trying to build new highways through the Park when in reality it was seeking only to retain its right to run a blade over the road periodically for high clearance, four-wheel drive access.
However, the Judge held that the county waited too long to assert its claims because they were first included in wilderness study areas by the Bureau of Land Management in 1979. Such claims are subject to a 12-year statute of limitations.
The ruling was mixed in part, as claims to some segments by the county were indeed upheld. We hope to have more specific information soon.Last year we issued a call to our readers for specific information on their travels on some of these contested routes. DeathValley.com would like to thank those who responded in hopes of helping to preserve public access to back country destinations.