The following information is provided as a general guideline only and is NOT meant to be in lieu of legal advise and each buyer or seller is solely responsible to verify all information given.
Access – or lack of access – to private properties in rural Nevada are potential issues that both, buyers and sellers, but specially buyers, should be aware of. Many properties only come with what’s commonly considered “recreational access”, generally meaning you can visit your property to camp on and for other recreational purposes. This may be all many property owners would want to use their rural property for, anyway, but if you wish to place a home or commercial enterprise on your property, hence creating regular year around traffic coming and going to the property, you should probably secure “legal” access.
If your property is located on a county maintained or federally maintained road (such as BLM roads), you probably have legal access or at least should be able to obtain it fairly easily. If your property is NOT located on a maintained road, or any road at all, you may be able to obtain access by ROW (Right of Way) through the Bureau of Land Management. You also need to secure right of ways through private property that you may have to a cross to reach your property. While much private land is currently vacant and access across private properties may not be challenged, it could occur sometime in the future. To check on land ownership status, road, mineral mining claim status with a variety of reference maps including surface management agency boundaries, T/R/Sec/Aliquot, rivers, roads, topo maps, and imagery you can download the interactive map viewer NILS GeoCommunicator.
LR2000, provides reports on (non-Alaska) BLM land and mineral use authorizations for oil, gas, and geothermal leasing, rights-of-ways, coal and other mineral development, land and mineral title, mining claims, withdrawals, classifications, and more on federal lands or on federal mineral estate. This is a text-based system (i.e. no online maps).
If you don’t know if your property is located on a county road, you can contact Humboldt County or Pershing County. You can also contact BLM to confirm access. As a general rule, a public road can be established across public land if established prior to 1976 (or prior to an reservation, like a Forest Service reservation), and if established in accordance with State Law (which varies by state). If a road shows as existing on an old, historical map, you, or any private land owner can generally NOT lock out the public. For more specifics, or to verify any information here provided you may want to consult an attorney.
In addition you may want to examine how RS 2477 may affect your property. Here is according to Wikipedia:
Revised Statute 2477 (commonly known as “RS 2477″) was enacted by the US Congress in 1866 to encourage the settlement of the Western United States by the development of a system of highways. It is a short law, and its entire text is one sentence: “the right-of-way for the construction of highways across public lands not otherwise reserved for public purposes is hereby granted.” It granted to counties and states a right-of-way across federal land when a highway was built. The mechanism for recording rights-of-way, and the definition of “highway”, remains murky to this day.
With all this said, if you don’t want to do a lot of research, just don’t expect much to change. If you bought property that has no road leading to it, don’t expect there suddenly to be one. And if there is a road leading through your property, don’t expect that you can fence off the rancher 5 miles behind your property, or anyone else who has been frequenting this road.