Anyone familiar with the expression, “Don’t Mess With Texas,” should know better, but it appears the federal government either hasn’t heard the warning or doesn’t believe that there are consequences for interfering with the Lone Star state as it has claimed more than 90,000 acres of private property along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River.

The river has served as a border since the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The southern bank was set as the northern boundary of Texas when it was admitted to the union in 1845 and in 1907, when Oklahoma gained statehood, its boundary was extended to the middle of the river with the thin strip of riverbank left as federal land.

With the passage of time, the river has changed course due to erosion and in 2008, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claimed private property inside Texas without explanation triggering a lawsuit by nine landowners and three counties to establish clear title to the property.

The landowners assert that they have paid taxes over the disputed land and exercised full ownership control over it –ranching, farming, leasing, and bequeathing it to heirs for decades.

The county governments’ interest in resolving the matter is to establish the boundaries of their jurisdictions in order to provide required services and determine which areas are taxable.

Now, a U.S. District Court has granted permission to Texas to join the landowners and the counties in the challenge against the BLM for the “unconstitutional and arbitrary seizure of thousands of acres of private property along the Red River,” according to an announcement made by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton released a strong statement saying, “Washington, D.C. needs to hear, loud and clear, that Texas will not stand for the federal government’s infringement upon Texas land and the property rights of the people who live here.”

“The federal government must follow the law and recognize our correct borders, consistent with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court defining the boundary formed by the Red River,” he concluded.




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