Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, June 09, 2014
Feds Force Rancher to Bid Adieu to Red River Land?
Since 1803, there has been some dispute over the boundary line between Oklahoma and Texas, along the Red River. Years ago the courts decided that the boundary stood on the vegetation line, on the south side.
But as the river has moved over time, it's caused a problem: Oklahoma says whenever the river moves south, Oklahoma picks up more land. But when it moves back north, the property boundary stays where it is.
Texas disagrees - especially ranchers like Tommy Henderson who own land along the river.
"The BLM has definitely had a change of personality in the last 30 years," he said.
Henderson's family has raised cattle and cotton along the Red River for more than a hundred years. He bought the land from his aunt 30 years ago with a loan from the Federal Housing Administration.
"They blessed the property - they inspected the property, a different government agency - they said it was fine, the deed was fine, the title was fine," he recalled.
"Everything was good, and loaned the money to buy it with," he continued. "But then just five years later, I lost it in a court of law."
A Land Grab?
Using Oklahoma's definitions of "erosion," the federal government decided Henderson never actually owned 140 acres bordering the river.
"This is the Oklahoma border marker right here," Henderson said. "We're a mile and a quarter away from the river."
"They took a 140 acres out of 386, took a little over a third of this property," he continued. "And they come in and surveyed it and they said that this is BLM property. There was no compensation for the property."
On top of that, he had to continue paying the mortgage.
"I still had to pay back the lending institution because if I didn't, they'd come get everything else," Henderson told CBN News...more
Welcome to the feds. This has been going on in the public lands states for decades.