Lands owned by, or held in trust for the benefit of native Americans, are not automatically immune from RS 2477 claims, and, as a result, RS 2477 poses a potential threat to tribal sovereignty and tribal property rights. In 2001 the State of Utah filed a notice of intent to sue and several maps with the BLM documenting potential RS 2477 claims. These maps contain numerous routes within reservation boundaries. Further, these proposed RS 2477 right of ways could result in damage to cultural and religious sites outside of reservation boundaries.
If the State or counties were to procure RS 2477 rights-of-way over tribal lands, tribes could not close the routes, limit access, or prevent the counties from grading and developing these routes—even if doing so is in the best interest of the tribe and tribal members. While tribes may ultimately decide it is beneficial to allow counties to maintain certain roads, RS 2477 would take away the authority from the tribes to make this decision. Instead, procurement of RS 2477 rights-of-way would transfer the decision-making authority and legal property rights over these roads to the state or counties.