Does Thornberry’s bill protect Red River land owners?

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

TX13 Representative Mac Thornberry’s office put out a press release saying that the U.S. House had passed his HR428 titled the “Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act” which deals with the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to confiscate private property from Texas land owners.

Thornberry said: “This bill essentially requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to do what they should have done all along. Its passage in the House is an important step toward providing these landowners with the legal certainty they deserve.”

The press release lists things the bill does which includes a survey “of the entire 116-mile stretch of contested area along the Red River using the gradient boundary survey method developed and backed by the Supreme Court to find the proper ownership boundary between public and private land.”

…what has Thornberry really done other than make the BLM dot each “i” and cross each “t” in the process of taking private land?

Texas and Oklahoma get to pick the surveyors, not the BLM and that’s good too. But, what’s missing from all the verbiage is protection of the property Texans own and hold title to and have paid taxes on for decades.

If I understand the bill Thornberry has gotten through the House, it could still result in the loss of private property to the Federal Government should the survey prove adverse to land owners.

This is unacceptable as these owners hold title and land patents to this land. So what has Thornberry really done other than make the BLM dot each “i” and cross each “t” in the process of taking private land?

Maybe that process will prevent some takings and indeed give legal certainty but what good is certainty if such turns out to be the certainty of taking your land?

What do you think?...

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.