Originally published April 30 2014
BLM land grab now expanding to Texas; AG Abbott defiantly warns 'Come and Take It'
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) On the heels of its attempt to deploy a small army to Nevada in a bid to collect back fees from rancher Cliven Bundy, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) now has its sights set on grabbing land in Texas, only state officials there have a message for the federal agency: "Don't."
According to Breitbart News, the agency is currently reviewing a potential federal takeover of 90,000 acres along a 116-mile stretch of land along the Texas/Oklahoma border, even though the land is in private hands and has been deeded property of Texas landowners for generations.
Sid Miller, a former Texas state representative and current GOP candidate for the Texas Agriculture Commission, has since made the matter a campaign issue.
"In Texas," Miller said, "the BLM is attempting a repeat of an action taken over 30 years ago along the Red River when Tommy Henderson lost a federal lawsuit. The Bureau of Land Management took 140 acres of his property and didn't pay him one cent."
Miller was referring to a 1986 case in which the BLM seized some of Henderson's land. Henderson sued the agency but wound up losing 140 acres that had been in his family for decades. And now the BLM is using his case as a precedent to take tens of thousands more acres of privately held land.
'Come and take it'
That has Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fighting mad.
"I am about ready to go to the Red River and raise a 'Come and Take It' flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas," he told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
In response to the agency's intentions, Abbott has sent a strongly worded letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze, a former top adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seeking answers to a series of questions related to the land grab.
"I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations," Abbott wrote. "The BLM's newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles--including the rule of law--that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box."
'No such legislation was ever enacted'
In his interview with Breitbart News, Abbott said:
This is the latest line of attack by the Obama Administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this country ...And now they've crossed the line quite literally by coming into the State of Texas and trying to claim Texas land as federal land. And, as the Attorney General of Texas I am not going to allow this.
In his letter, Abbott challenged Kornze directly:
"Nearly a century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River--subject to the doctrines of accretion and avulsion--was the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma v. Texas, 260 U.S. 606 (1923). More recently, in 1994, the BLM stated that the Red River area was '[a] unique situation' and stated that '[t]he area itself cannot be defined until action by the U.S. Congress establishes the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas.' Further, the BLM determined that one possible scenario was legislation that established the 'south geologic cut bank as the boundary,' which could have resulted 'in up to 90,000 acres' of newly delineated federal land. But no such legislation was ever enacted."
Abbott is running for Texas governor against Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis.
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