Texas landowners scored a major victory after a nearly ten-year battle to stop the federal government from seizing 90,000 acres of privately owned land along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Rob Henneke, General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, joined Jacki on today’s “Jacki Daily Show” to explain why the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) unlawfully attempted to overtake a 116-mile stretch of private property in Texas and claim it as federal land.
“[T]he homes and private property of my clients — land that has been in their families for generations up along the Red River in the north part of Texas — is now safe from being seized by the Bureau of Land Management,” said Henneke. “As the new year has rolled over, our clients can now look forward to 2018 as the first year in nearly a decade that they haven’t had the federal government literally just trying to take their homes.”
Henneke went on to explain that the Texas border had always, going all the way back to the Louisiana purchase, been designated as the south bank of the Red River, the river that serves as the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. However, in 2009 the BLM declared that the Texas border was actually meant to be the south bank of “where the Red River flowed 100 years ago,” meaning that 90,000 acres of Texas’ private property now belonged to the federal government. The property owners were never offered compensation or an opportunity to dispute the government’s claim.
“They weren’t condemning it[the land.] They weren’t buying it. The federal government just said ‘your land belongs to the federal government,” said Henneke. “The land owners along the Red River had been trying for years to explain to the Bureau of Land Management how they were wrong: showing their deeds to BLM, showing the history of title, showing the taxes they had payed. Meanwhile, the federal government kept proceeding forward to seize and take possession of their land.”
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