Hickman has verified that the department is working with Pinal County, not to close the road, but to “get the road legalized.” She emphasized that there is no intent to keep anyone from using the road east of Gold Canyon that runs north off U.S. Highway 60. This road that is maintained by Pinal County, furnishes the only vehicle route access to the Peralta Trailhead and the Dons Camp site located at the Superstition Wilderness Area’s southern fence line.
To shed light on the situation, Pinal County Communications Director Heather Murphy sent The News a copy of a letter of formal notice dated May 24, 2012, in which Ruben Ojeda, manager of the Right of Way section for ASLD, “rescinds the grant of right of way 70-102911(Peralta Road),” and encloses “an application for Right of Way and the necessary supplements necessary to legalize this road” including an RS-2477 questionnaire.
In simple terms, RS-2477 is the U.S. (federal) law passed in 1866 granting right of-way for the construction of roads across public lands as long as certain conditions are met.
Hickman explained that it was recently discovered that over the years, the alignment of some parts of Peralta Road has been shifted through grading and blading, and the current alignment does not match the historically mapped roadway originally granted RS-2477 status.
For insurance coverage and other reasons, she said that it was important to both Pinal County and the ASLD that all of the documents were updated and made legal and that is the process that is being undertaken at this time.
Murphy confirmed that Pinal County plans to continue maintaining the road in the future.
By Betty Swanson