BLM Land Grab: Thornberry Meets With Landowners

BLM Land Grab: Thornberry Meets With Landowners

Congressman Mac Thornberry addressed a room packed with Red River landowners in Texas who say the Bureau of Land Management is trying to take away the land they own. 

Congressman Thornberry along with Senator John Cornyn recently introduced the Red River Private Property Protection Act. Many of the landowners have had to fight off efforts by the BLM to reclaim land from their property. Kevin Hunter is one of these landowners. 

"It's one and a half miles on the ground or acreage wise roughly two hundred and forty six acres, 71 percent of the original 352 acres I bought," said Hunter. 

The BLM has told hunter that the land he owns deeds for, the land he pays taxes for, the land he rightfully bought and paid for could be reclaimed by the government. 

In 1923 the Supreme Court laid out the official boundaries between Texas and Oklahoma. Much of the land along the Red River has been bought and traded since those boundaries were established.  

"And that is part of the problem where the BLM has done some isolated surveys it looks like they put the marker in a very different place than where a lot of us think it should be," said Congressman Thronberry. 

According to the Congressman his bill would mandate that there has got to be an independent survey done on the land outside of surveys done by the BLM. It has got to be done by somebody approved by the general land office by the state of Texas. And they would have to use the standard that the Supreme Court set in the 1920's case of Oklahoma vs Texas. 

Congressman Thornberry said that the BLM has not taken an official stance on his bill. The Texas Congressman hopes that the government agency would end up being a partner in resolving the dispute. The House Resources Committee will review the Red River Protection Act in September when they return from a 5-week recess.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6