[Lt. Governor of Texas]
Post Office Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
David Dewhurst

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
April 22, 2014  

Lt. Governor Dewhurst Decries Potential Federal Seizure of Texas Land
AUSTIN — Today, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst issued the following statement in response to recent reports that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management intends to take over a significant stretch of land on the border of Texas and Oklahoma:
"The federal government's history of arrogant overreach is approaching a new low with the Bureau of Land Management's threat to confiscate up to 90,000 acres of Texas land," said Dewhurst. "This outrageous, illegal act makes my blood boil as it should for every Texan who believes in the sanctity of private land ownership."
In 2000, while serving as Texas Land Commissioner, Dewhurst signed the Red River Boundary Compact, essentially resolving the long-running dispute with Oklahoma over the definition of the border between the two states. The 106th Congress, through House Joint Resolution 72, granted its consent to the Red River Compact and the new Texas-Oklahoma boundary it established, effective August 31, 2000.
At issue still is the definition of the boundary as the southern vegetation line, which shifts as the river's course changes over time. According to Dewhurst, it is illogical to argue the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma, the southern vegetation line, can move south as the river's course changes, but can never move northward. Unfortunately, the BLM, with a heavy hand characteristic of the federal government, has argued that deeds and patents to some 90,000 acres were awarded at a time the State of Texas had no legal right to do so.
"This is a federal land-grab, pure and simple and the BLM has done it before, some 30 years ago when they took 140 acres from Tommy Henderson, a proud Texas landowner," said Dewhurst. "Taking private property away from Texas families, who in some cases have paid taxes on the property for over 100 years since they assumed ownership from the State of Texas, is entirely unacceptable."
Dewhurst called on Texas Attorney General to file suit against the Federal Bureau of Land Management to stop the illegal taking of Texas lands.
- 30 -