After the recent Bundy Ranch episode by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Texans are becoming more concerned about the BLM’s focus on 90,000 acres along a 116 mile stretch of the Texas/Oklahoma boundary. The BLM is reviewing the possible federal takeover and ownership of privately-held lands which have been deeded property for generations of Texas landowners.
Sid Miller, former Texas State Representative and Republican candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, has since made the matter a campaign issue to Breitbart Texas.
“In Texas,” Miller says, “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 referred to a 1986 case where the BLM attempted to seize some of Henderson’s land. Henderson sued the BLM and lost 140 acres that had been in his family for generations. Now the BLM is looking at using the prior case as a precedent to claim an additional 90,000 acres.
In 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court attempted to settle the boundary dispute in Oklahoma v. Texas and declared the boundary to be defined by wooden stakes set on the river bank. That boundary apparently lasted no longer than anyone could expect wooden stakes to last in the shifting sands of a meandering river. In 2000, Texas and Oklahoma’s legislatures agreed to a “Red River Boundary Compact” which defined the border between the states as the southern vegetation line. However, Congress must ratify agreements of this kind between the states according to Article 1, Section 10 (Clause 3) of the U.S. Constitution. Congressman Thornberry introduced House Joint Resolution 72 during the 106th Congress to codify the compact into U.S. Law.I used to think of the BLM as one of the agencies of the Federal government that probably leaned a little bit to the right, seeing as how they have to oversee mines, grazing, and oil and gas development. But I guess it has succumbed to the governmental version of O'Sullivan's Law:
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The Texas Farm Bureau asserts the State of Oklahoma believes that whenever the river shifts south, the state line moves south. But when the river moves north, the line remains in place. Now, the BLM seems to want to settle the matter by simply confiscating the land.
O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time. The law is named after British journalist John O’Sullivan.Another instance where my "Modest Proposal" for the Federal bureaucracy might well be warranted.