Editor’s note: For those who are unfamiliar with the Red River land grab, the over-reaching Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to seize 90,000 acres of privately-held land along the Red River in Texas. When I posted the story about the land grab on this blog, the Oklahoma public relations representative for the BLM took exception to my referring to it as a “land grab”. He saw it as “unhelpful” since he believes it is their land to take.
The land is deeded by the state of Texas and some owners’ families have held the deeds for over a hundred years, even as far back as 1804 and The Louisiana Purchase. The BLM is using court cases to support their argument and, with their unlimited taxpayer funds, they can bankrupt the farmers and ranchers who own the land in a lawsuit. The BLM is proceeding with a Resource Management Plan as if the land is theirs.
If the government wins this case, it will forever change the way we view private land ownership in this country.
Maybe the BLM should worry about the trash and dead bodies being left by the drug cartels on BLM land and leave the citizens alone. The Wilderness areas are controlled by the BLM. The land is off-limits to the Border Patrol in many cases because of “environmental concerns” and it is being exploited by drug smugglers and human traffickers.
It’s a complicated case, but, in the end, it’s the government’s hunger for land – land with minerals – and their deference to environmental extremism that is propelling this takeover. The following is a case made against the BLM by one of the interested parties, James Franklin.
PROOF – BLM Stealing Texas Land
by James Robert Franklin, pictured below.
According to a recent Bureau of Land Management statement, the Federal Government is not expanding it’s holdings on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma.
However if that were true, why would prominent and established politicians such as Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, risk their careers and reputations by speaking out against an imminent BLM land grab in Texas?
A BLM spokesperson also assured me during a recent interview that the BLM is not interested in the “surface management” of what they refer to as the “Red River Management Area” (RRMA) but just like their claim of stewardship over 116 miles (or more than 90,000 acres) of Texas land, this is an utter falsehood.
The fact is, the Bureau of Land Management is expanding their holdings along the border between Texas and Oklahoma and I can prove it.
Concerning the issue of Surface Management:
On the Bureau of Land Management’s website there is a recent document that mentions the RRMA, only once, under the sub-heading: BLM Oklahoma Field Office Mission – Surface Management. How about that? The very first area mentioned in the portion of the document dealing with surface-management is none other than RRMA!
Oddly enough, in my second interview with the same Oklahoma BLM spokesperson, I was told some of the specific ways in which the BLM intends to manage the surface of the RRMA.
ATV’s on the Red River.
For all of you that enjoy your weekends along the Red River, near the HWY 79 bridge between Beyers, Texas and Waurika, Oklahoma, enjoy it while you can. The BLM was there just recently with Texas DOT [Department of Transportation] officials and in their estimation your recreation is damaging the bridge supports in addition to ruining the environment.
Over the past few weeks there’s been a lot of talk concerning exactly how the Red River has changed its course over the years and thereby altered the land around it. Presumably, this disputed fact has some bearing on who owns and/or manages the land on either side of the river.
There is a legal tradition for this, known as Riparian Law, which dates back to Roman times. However, according to the Bureau of Land Management, this common law standard has no bearing on their position. In fact the BLM operates under the US Dept of Interior’s Riparian Policy. In interest of full disclosure the DOI itself lists this policy as an opinion, as its web address makes clear: www.doi.gov/solicitor/opinions/M-37028.pdf .
Now here’s where things get really strange.
The BLM states that according to a survey done in 1923, the southern boundary of federally-held lands was marked along the median line of the Red River. Everything south of the midpoint of the river was Texas. This survey line was marked with wooden stakes which, obviously, are no longer present. There seems to be no argument that the river has moved northward but the BLM states that regardless of this fact, their ‘border’ remains in that fixed spot on the planet. I pressed the BLM spokesperson on how they can sure of where their ‘border’ lies given the fact that the stakes are gone and that the survey team in 1923 had no GPS technology. The BLM could not answer this question.
At the time that the survey was done however it was understood that the river shifted and yet no mention was made that the ‘border’ would remain fixed. In fact the only datum by which the ‘border’ can be delineated (according to the survey) is the course of the river itself.
It certainly seems like the BLM is making up the rules as it goes along doesn’t it?
Yet the most damning evidence against the BLM’s unlawful land-grab comes once again from their very own documents. Much of the information that I used for this article can now be easily found on the internet; but when I first started investigating this issue any mention of the Red River of the South by the BLM was completely absent on every search engine. Humorously enough it was only after speaking with the BLM the first time that I was able to find these documents that so clearly dispute their claims.
This link will take you to the BLM’s Oklahoma Resource Management Plan (RMP). If you follow that link and scroll down to document page 101 or .pdf page 107, you will find the section labeled THE RMP FOR ISSUE 4. RED RIVER MANAGEMENT.
The first sentence states: “A unique situation exists in relation to the issue of the Red River area management. The area itself cannot be defined until action by the U.S. Congress establishes the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas.”
Another undeniable fact in this case is that in the year 2000, the U.S. Congress did in fact make a decision [Red River Boundary Compact] regarding the state boundaries between Texas and Oklahoma, a fact that is not disputed by any of the interested parties. The northern boundary of Texas is the vegetative line of the south bank of the Red River.
The Oklahoma RMP [Resource Management Plan] goes on to lay out three scenarios for management based on speculation on how the U.S. Congress was expected to rule at the time that the plan was accepted.
In plan 4a, the BLM would gain no additional land and be left with it’s contemporary holdings of 958 acres.
Plan 4b would provide for an additional 1,400 acres but states that the BLM could end up acquiring upwards of 46,000 acres should they manipulate the courts successfully.
The scenario imagined in Plan 4c, in stark contrast to what Congress actually decided, envisions the BLM being granted 90,000 acres of land that was then and is still owned by Texas farmers and ranchers.
This 1994 Oklahoma RMP is still the plan under which the Bureau of Land Management operates. While this plan is currently under revision in regards to future management of currently held land, it makes clear that the Red River Boundary Compact decision of the U.S. Congress did not grant any additional acreage to the federal government. As it stands, the BLM’s Red River Management Area consists of 958 non-contiguous acres, all of which lay beyond that vegetative line on the south bank of the Red River.
It is for this reason that Texans will be coming from across the state to rally, celebrate and make claim to our sovereign land. Our gathering will be a peaceful one, so long as our public servants are mindful of their place.
GOD BLESS TEXAS!!!
James Franklin is a writer for dontcomply.com and Come and Take It America
Red River management area map: