Federal government taking land from ranchers in Texas
Since 1803 when the Louisiana Purchase was completed, there has been a controversy over the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas. The boundary is supposed to be the vegetation line on the south side of the Red River. But the River has moved over time.
The problem is the definition of that boundary line: Oklahoma and Texas each use different semantics to define it.
Now the BLM is finding ways to use the disputed words to give them the ability to seize the land. The Bureau of Land Management is a Federal agency tasked with managing Federal lands. They have had an ugly history of stealing land from rural farmers and individuals.
The BLM claims that about 90,000 acres (116 miles along the Red River) have never belonged to Texas in the first place. They will seize the land and it will seriously change the boundaries between the two states.
The BLM stole 140 acres of the Tommy Henderson’s ranch thirty years ago. They took his land and paid him absolutely nothing. He sued and lost. Now the BLM is using that court case as precedent to do it again. The problem is, the land they want to seize is property that ranchers have a deed for and have paid taxes on for over a hundred years.
According to the BLM, the Red River is always Accretion (gradual accumulation of sediment) to the south, and always Avulsion (rapid formation of a new river channel) to the north. So according to the BLM, the boundary only moves one direction, never in the direction that favors the ranchers. They are looking to re-draw the entire portion of the Red River boundary. That includes 90,000 acres of land along a 116 mile stretch of the river.
“BLM officials believe they have a responsibility to manage land they believe is federal which includes an estimated 90,000 acres along 116 miles of the Red River. If land is found to be public, BLM officials say they have three options: leave the land open, closed, or open with limitations.” January 2014
Public input ignored?
Land that has been in the families of ranchers is to be seized as “public lands” that would be subject to fees or blocked off entirely from rancher’s use. Or in some cases, moving the boundary line over to Oklahoma, where Texas ranchers can lose their rights to the lands that they have owned for more than a century. The BLM had open meetings back in January to “take input” from the public …but they are moving forward with their plan to seize the land anyway. There was likely never any intention of actually listening to the rancher’s stand.
The BLM this past week attempted to remove a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, from land he and his family have been on since the 1870’s. The BLM has managed to run off 54 of Bundy’s neighbors over the past few decades. And now he’s the last man standing.
In Bundy’s case it came down to an armed confrontation between heavily armed BLM agents and his small group. That is, until the “Calvary” came in with over 5,000 heavily armed militia. As soon as they arrive, the government tucked tail and ran.
In Colorado, a county government is attempting take, and will likely succeed, in taking the mountain home and property of the Barrie’s.
The taking of property from land owners, the stealing of cattle, all of these things are apparently the modus operandi of the Bureau of Land Management. There are no tortoises involved in this incident, just land-grabbing feds who are intent to take away the property of ranchers that have owned it for hundreds of years. Will it come to armed confrontation as is occurring in Nevada? We don’t know.
Open grazing of cattle has always been a common law right in America. It is time for the American people to rise up against the theft of private lands and property by a government that is out of control. Ranchers have contact Texas Representative Mac Thornberry for assistance but so far our Congressional leaders have been almost useless in protecting us from the Feds.
Source: American Freedom Fighters