June 29, 2017
Red River Land Dispute: Texas Wildlife Association, Legislators Stand With Ranchers In Fight Against BLM

The Texas Wildlife Association, Congressman Mac Thornberry, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are standing with Texas ranchers regarding the Red River land dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. The federal government is claiming ownership of land along the Red River despite ranchers holding deeds for the property and having paid taxes on the properties for decades. The ranchers claim that the federal government has no rights to the land; however, the BLM says it rightfully owns 90,000 acres that ranchers currently hold deeds to along the Red River due to new land surveys.

As TheInquisitr previously reported, a group of Texas ranchers are furious after representatives from the federal Bureau of Land Management made claims that their land doesn't actually belong to the ranchers, but rather it belonged to the federal government. The feds are claiming that over 90,000 acres along the Red River belongs to the BLM, not the ranchers who hold deeds to the property and have been paying taxes on said property for decades. The federal officials claim that deeds never should have been produced for the property by the State of Texas as the land belongs to the federal government. However, at least one rancher, Ken Aderholt, isn't giving up his property without a fight noting that the feds have no right to the land as in the past the BLM has only staked claim to a small sliver of land along the gradient boundary. However, it wasn't until "redefining boundaries" that the government staked claim to the Texas ranchers' property.
"The representative said the discovery was made when the government began 'redefining' boundary lines along the Red River, which runs along the border between Oklahoma and Texas. Aderholt notes that by redefining the boundary to half-a-mile inland from the river, it significantly affects the size of his property and even his home."
Red River
Map of the Red River as it runs along the Oklahoma-Texas border. [Image Credit: Red River Valley Info]With the battle heating up, the Texas Wildlife Association, Congressman Mac Thornberry, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are stepping up to stand with the ranchers against the land seizure by the BLM. The Texas Wildlife Association has released an official statement regarding the land dispute noting that they "strongly oppose" any seizure of the 90,000 acres that the federal government is staking claim noting that these properties should remain privately held in the best interests of not only ranchers but wildlife.
"The TWA strongly opposes any RMP and federal control of private land and all associated rights located in Texas and south of the Red River. Precisely, the BLM proposal to take possession of any of the 90,000 acres along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River that the BLM considers public land, is not supported by TWA's membership. "
The TWA wants the BLM to work towards providing appropriate documentation for ranchers that prove their ownership of the land which has been privately held for decades. Additionally, Congressman Mac Thornberry released a statement noting that the BLM has never surveyed the land in the past and that their new survey "strays wildly" from acceptable gradient boundaries outlined by the Supreme Court.
"The entire section of the river has never been surveyed by the BLM, and the portions that the agency most recently surveyed appear to stray widely from the accepted gradient boundary survey method established by the Supreme Court in the 1920s."

Therefore, Thornberry says he stands with the Texas ranchers in their dispute against the BLM's seizure of the land which they rightfully own with deed in hand. Thornberry says that the issue must be "firmly and finally" resolved to ensure that ranchers no longer have to worry about their ownership of the land they have paid taxes on for decades. As part of his stance against the BLM seizure, Thornberry has presented a House Bill that would resolve the Red River property dispute claims. In the bill, the agency would be required to approve land transfers within 120 days making the decades old claims void. Additionally, Trail Blazers reports that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are also standing up and noting their support of the Texas ranchers in their fight against the BLM.

What do you think about the Bureau of Land Management's assessment that they own 90,000 acres along the Red River and are wanting to seize it from Texas ranchers who hold deeds on the property?

[Image via Shutterstock]