Friday, December 11, 2015

Red River lands bill passes House, 253-177

A piece of legislation that provides a resolution to the Red River land dispute between Texas landowners and the Bureau of Land Management passed in the U.S. House of Representatives mostly along party lines, 253-177. House Resolution 2130, authored by U.S. District 13 Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, lays out how the years-long quagmire regarding land along a 116-mile stretch from Doan's Crossing in Wilbarger County to the community of Stanfield in Clay County can be cleared up. Landowners claim they have deed and title to their land — some for generations — and the BLM claims it has always owned the land dating back to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Red River Private Property Protection Act, or House Resolution 2130, would provide "legal certainty to property owner" by having the entire 116-mile stretch of land in question along the river surveyed by a licensed Texas surveyor approved by the Texas General Land Office. The Commissioners of the Land Office in Oklahoma would also consult, and Native American tribes will also be part of the process. Property owners who have proper documentation and/or interest in the land will also have the right to appeal, or file for a modified Color-Of-Title Act request to buy back land believed to be theirs. For those who are able to prove ownership and have lived on their land 20 years or more, they will be eligible, at the discretion of the BLM, to buy back their land for $1.25 per acre...more

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