Texas AG to land-grabbing feds: ‘Come and Take It’

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Greg Abbott / Photo: pjmedia.com

After the standoff between federal officers and a Nevada cattle rancher, the Bureau of Land Management set its sights on Texas, and the Lone Star State’s attorney general is making it clear the feds can look all they want. Just don’t touch.

The bureau is poised to lay claim to 90,000 privately owned acres along the Red River, which marks the Texas/Oklahoma boundary,
according to Breitbart Texas.

“I am about ready to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas,” Attorney General Greg Abbott told Breitbart Texas.

He said in a statement Tuesday that he shot off a letter to the bureau’s director outlining his concerns.

“I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations,” Abbott said in the statement, according to the Texas attorney general website. “The BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.”

Abbott’s letter listed five concerns he wants the bureau to address before it acts, saying:

  1. Please delineate with specificity each of the steps for the RMP/EIS [Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement] process for property along the Red River.
  2. Please describe the procedural due process the BLM will afford to Texans whose property may be claimed by the federal government.
  3. Please confirm whether the BLM agrees that, from 1923 until the ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River. To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s position.
  4. Please confirm whether the BLM still considers Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact as determinative of its interest in land along the Red River? To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s new position.
  5. Please delineate with specificity the amount of Texas territory that would be impacted by the BLM’s decision to claim this private land as the property of the federal government.

“This is the latest line of attack by the Obama administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this countrym,” Abbott told Breitbart Texas. “And now they’ve crossed the line, quite literally, by coming into the state of Texas and trying to claim Texas land as federal land. And, as the attorney general of Texas, I am not going to allow this.”

Abbott also promised to turn to the courts to keep Texas land in the hands of Texans.

“If I have to, I will make this our 31st lawsuit against the Obama administration,” said Abbott, the GOP candidate for Texas governor. The post is being vacated by Republican Rick Perry, who has held the position since 2000.

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