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Landowners with railroad right of way may be entitled to compensation PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

Much of the following information was verbally presented to the Vilas County Forestry Committee in the summer of 2011. The county has kept quiet; therefore, in the best interests of our neighbors, we are releasing it.

We have done extensive research regarding the railroad right of way (RROW) from Monico to Watersmeet, Mich. We discovered that significantly, on this particular stretch of RROW, no federal land grants were involved and abandonment took place years before the Rails-to-Trails act of 1988, so Rails-to-Trails does not apply.

We discovered that Wisconsin only allowed railroads to obtain easements, not the physical land itself. When any quitclaims or deeds were issued, no physical land was granted to the railway companies; they only secured an easement running over the land.

We also discovered that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) released their rights to the easements running over almost all of the land parcels involved in Vilas County.

All of the RROW was released between Brown Road located one mile south of the Vilas-Oneida county line in Clearwater Lake, and Willow Drive which intersects with Loon Lake Road one mile south of the Pine Street bypass. A number of RROW sections north of Eagle River were also released. Anyone who owns property that has RROW running through it may want to find out if it was released by the DOT.

It is entirely probable that landowners with RROW are entitled to compensation in regard to the city or county granting utility easements without the property owner’s permission and correction on the RROW issue on their titles.

One of America’s greatest freedoms for its citizens is the ability of the people to own their own land and live peaceably on it. The city and the county have violated this sacred right by taking the RROW from the adjoining landowners. Affected landowners may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in property rights (not real estate) issues.

We welcome anyone to contact us for further information.

Uno and Jodi Bloom

Eagle River

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:50 PM


0 #2 2011-11-23 03:26
Two very important documents affected landowners need from the Vilas County Register of Deeds: Document 226853 Vol. 525 Page 416 known as Project ID 1000-47-37. It is the deed recorded when Chicago And Northwestern Transportation Company sold specific portions of their easement interest in the RROW to DOT.
Document number 453790, Vol 1482 Page 590 is a Release of Interest filed by WisDOT. All land tracts NOT listed in Project ID 1000-47-37 were released back to the adjoining landowners by this Release of Interest document.
Real estate transactions transferring ownership for any WisDOT released parcel can only be legally authorized by the adjoining landowner. Any recorded real estate document transferring ownership for any WisDOT released parcel completed by any other entity other than the adjoining landowner would be a violation of Wis. Stat. 100.18(1). This statute makes it illegal to offer to sell by quitclaim deed property in which the grantor has no interest.
+4 #1 2011-11-22 12:25
This letter is most interesting. Although we were unaware of the verbal presentation to the Vilas County Forestry Committee in the summer of 2011, as an affected landowner we contacted the Vilas County Forestry Department (in October of 2010 and again in September of 2011) and the DOT (in September 2011) re: RROW land ownership and have gotten nowhere. There have been illegal dumpings (boats, mattresses, computers, garbage) and motorized vehicle use on this land which we have been unable to satisfactorily address and would proactively manage if we are the property owners. It sounds like a property rights attorney is necessary.

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