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Governor Abbott Sends Letter To BLM Director Over Federal Land Grab

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October 16, 2015 | 2,135 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Neil Kornze, Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), regarding his agency’s continued efforts to take control of land along the Texas-Oklahoma border--land that has been privately owned and managed for decades.

“Our Constitution -- the same Constitution you have taken an oath to uphold -- rests on the principle that governments are created to protect private property owners’ rights, not destroy them,” writes Governor Abbott. “This principle is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of our founding document. The BLM should demonstrate that the federal government still respects private property rights and end this unconscionable land grab.”

Excerpts from Governor Abbott’s Letter:

“As attorney general, I asked for clarification regarding the BLM’s claim of ownership of vast lands held by Texans along the Red River. My fellow Texans and I are still waiting for an answer. The BLM has yet to identify what land the federal government newly claims as its own. The BLM has yet to identify the legal basis for that claim. And the BLM has yet to identify the process by which Texans can protect their land and private property rights.”

(. . .)

“The landowners along the Red River have lived and labored on this land for generations. The BLM now inexplicably seeks to take control of thousands of acres of private land for undetermined recreational activities. Throughout the process, the BLM has minimized the landowners’ grave and legitimate concerns, while providing no clarity regarding the authority for taking the land in the first place.”

(. . .)

“Explaining to landowners that the process is long and complex, that surveys will be done or that landowners will eventually be able to file a “color of title” lawsuit is neither solution nor solace. Instead, it is an illegal taking. These actions harm Texans now by clouding the title to the land their families have owned for generations. As you well know, the BLM’s actions prevent landowners from borrowing against the land to finance business operations or selling the land to new owners looking to cultivate their own economic freedom. But the implications of your actions are not merely financial. In many cases, your actions threaten to take the very homes above these Texans’ heads.”
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