Politics

Ranchers, Officials Worry That Government May Seize Private Land

| by Jared Keever

Officials in Texas are concerned that the Bureau of Land Management may have its eye on 90,000 acres of land along the Texas-Oklahoma border. 

State Attorney General Gregg Abbott, who is also running for governor, seems convinced that if the BLM tries to seize the land it could lead to a standoff similar to the recent battle over grazing rights between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials in Nevada.

Fox News reports that Abbott sent a letter Tuesday to BLM Director Neil Kornze that said the agency appeared to be “threatening” the private property rights of “hard-working Texans.”

“Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box,” he wrote noting that the issue had not been broadly publicized.

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The concern over the acreage along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River seems to have stemmed from comments made by Tommy Henderson. On Tuesday Henderson told Fox News that the BLM was” talking about taking another 90,000 acres by using my court case as the precedent to seize the other land.” 

Henderson lost a 1986 federal court case that resulted in him losing 140 acres.

"They won't talk to us or be straight with us as to what their plans are," Henderson said.

The BLM maintains that while Henderson’s land was determined to be public property long ago it is not seeking to add more land.

“The BLM is categorically not expanding federal holdings along the Red River,” a BLM spokeswoman said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon.

Documents released by Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry’s office, though, indicate the BLM is revisiting its management plan for the land. His office has said the possibility has been discussed of opening the land up for “hunting, recreation and management.”

Abbot is unwillingly to let the issue rest, seemingly convinced a tough stance will help his election bid. 

Cranking up the rhetoric, and conjuring images of the Texas Revolution, he was quoted recently by the Guardian Liberty Voice as saying, “I am about ready to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag.” 

Sources: Fox News, Guardian Liberty Voice

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Officials in Texas are concerned that the Bureau of Land Management may have its eye on 90,000 acres of land along the Texas-Oklahoma border. 

State Attorney General Gregg Abbott, who is also running for governor, seems convinced that if the BLM tries to seize the land it could lead to a standoff similar to the recent battle over grazing rights between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials in Nevada.

Fox News reports that Abbott sent a letter Tuesday to BLM Director Neil Kornze that said the agency appeared to be “threatening” the private property rights of “hard-working Texans.”

“Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box,” he wrote noting that the issue had not been broadly publicized.

The concern over the acreage along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River seems to have stemmed from comments made by Tommy Henderson. On Tuesday Henderson told Fox News that the BLM was "talking about taking another 90,000 acres by using my court case as the precedent to seize the other land.” 

Henderson lost a 1986 federal court case that resulted in him losing 140 acres.

"They won't talk to us or be straight with us as to what their plans are," Henderson said.

The BLM maintains that while Henderson’s land was determined to be public property long ago it is not seeking to add more land.

“The BLM is categorically not expanding federal holdings along the Red River,” a BLM spokeswoman said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon.

Documents released by Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry’s office, though, indicate the BLM is revisiting its management plan for the land. His office has said the possibility has been discussed of opening the land up for “hunting, recreation and management.”

Abbot is unwillingly to let the issue rest, seemingly convinced a tough stance will help his election bid. 

Cranking up the rhetoric, and conjuring images of the Texas Revolution, he was quoted recently by the Guardian Liberty Voice as saying, “I am about ready to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag.” 

Sources: Fox News, Guardian Liberty Voice