Landowners whose property is taken for recreational trails rely on Stewart, Wald & McCulley to recover money for them from the government.

Stewart, Wald & McCulley

EUREKA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES , November 15, 2022 / — Stewart Wald & McCulley (“SWM”), the nation’s leading and only fully dedicated Rails-to-Trails litigation law firm, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of landowners in Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino Counties against the federal government. The suit was filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims as a result of the rail-trail conversion. The firm will be adding more landowners to the lawsuit in the coming weeks. SWM currently represents 88 landowners who collectively own 168 parcels of land, and their federal lawsuit is captioned: Ross Bewley, et al., v. United States, Case No. 1:22-cv-01589L.

SWM has pursued this action against the Federal Government for several years. Between 2019 and early 2020, following the issues presented by State Senator Mike McGuire and his plan to convert over 300 miles of abandoned railroad corridor to a public recreational trail, known as the Great Redwood Trail, SWM began investigating this railbanking plan and action as a potential lawsuit against United States government.

The Bewley landowners own land adjacent to a 176-mile stretch of abandoned railway within the counties of Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino. The rail line extends from milepost 139.5 at Commercial Street in Willits to milepost 284.1 near Eureka, including appurtenant branch lines extending to milepost 267.72 near Carlotta, milepost 295.57 near Korblex, milepost 300.5 near Samoa, and milepost 301.8 near Korbel. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co. constructed the original rail line in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. The State of California dissolved the North Coast Railroad Authority, which previously owned the line, and converted the agency into the Great Redwood Trail Authority, which the Surface Transportation Board approved to convert the 176 miles of abandoned rail line to a recreational trail.

SWM has long dedicated itself to landowners in this area, as it was the first law firm to visit this stretch and hold regular property owner meetings in Eureka, Willits, and the Eel River Canyon areas to discuss this case and answer landowners’ questions.

SWM thoroughly investigates the railroad corridor and identifies the original conveyance deeds to the original founding railroad. Those conveyances are paramount to the basis of the lawsuit. The key component to any rails-to-trails takings claim focuses on how landowners originally conveyed land to the railroad company at the time of the railroad’s construction.

Over the past two-plus years, SWM has established many meaningful and strong relationships with landowners who possess takings claims against the government for the conversion of the former railroad corridor to a potential recreational trail, including many prominent landowners in the Eureka, Eel River Canyon, and Willits areas.

If you have received correspondence from Stewart, Wald & McCulley, yet have not engaged with a law firm, please consider contacting the firm. If you have not received any correspondence from Stewart, Wald & McCulley and would like to engage with the firm, they would be happy to take the time to investigate your claim.

Thomas Stewart
Stewart Wald & McCulely
+1 618-303-1500
email us here
Visit us on social media:

What is Rails-To-Trails Litigation?