WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Good news tonight for landowners along the Red River involved in the lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Land Management.
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry says he's fairly optimistic that his Red River Private Property Rights Act will get passed and signed into law, and it may be sooner rather than later.
He says this bill is important to the land owners along the Red River who - in many cases - have deeds and have paid taxes on their land for generations. They are facing the threat that the federal government can just take it away from them.
The state of Texas, Wichita, Clay and Wilbarger counties and a group of private landowners are all involved in the lawsuit against the federal government.
It is over land rights along the Texas and Oklahoma border. 116-miles along the Red River.
The lawsuit accuses the Federal Bureau of Land Management of an unconstitutional land grab along the river which separates Texas and Oklahoma. We spoke to landowners last year.
"This is a land grab because as far as I am concerned this is private property."
Congressman Thornberry says they've won another battle in the war to keep the land.
"The most recent thing that happened was the government tried to get the lawsuit dismissed and the judge said no. He said there is a legitimate claim here and he set the schedule for the court actions that will take us into next year."
He says it's good news. The lawsuit is proceeding.
Congressman Thornberry authored the Red River Private Property Protection Act. A bill that would stop the Bureau of Land Management's attempt to seize those thousands of acres of land from the landowners in Texas and Oklahoma.
"I am fairly optimistic that we can get it passed and signed into law sometime before the end of this year."
He says getting the bill signed into law is crucial. He says private property rights are the foundation upon which our society and in many ways our economy is based and it's not just those landowners that have something at stake.
"We all have something at stake to stand up and defend private property rights so the government can't come in and take from us with out due process - something we own, that we have worked for, that we paid for."