BLM threatens Henderson Ranch in Texas for massive land grab
The BLM is seizing rightfully owned and homesteaded property from people all over the country
By John Vibes
TEXAS (INTELLIHUB) — This month, a federal agency called The Bureau of Land Management made news by attempting to take over a large area of land that was used and owned by a rural rancher in Nevada. For now, the recent standoff in Nevada has come to a peaceful and successful end. However, other cases of BLM land grabs can be seen across the country.
In one interview, the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy explained that the BLM was systematically putting ranchers nationwide out of business by taking their land. According to Cliven Bundy, he was taking a stand because he was one of the few left who actually had the chance.
“Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers,” he said. “I’m the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.”
Cases just like the Bundy’s can be seen all throughout the country. At the Henderson Ranch near the border between Texas and Oklahoma, the BLM took 140 acres of legitimately homesteaded property from the Henderson family. Additionally, the BLM seeks to use his case as precedent to seize land along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River, which separates Texas from Oklahoma.
“They’re wanting to take the boundaries that the courts placed here and extend those east and west to the forks of the river north of Vernon and east to the 98th Meridian which is about 20 miles east of us,” Tommy Henderson told RFDTV.
“How can BLM come in and say, “Hey, this isn’t yours.” Even though it’s patented from the state, you’ve always paid taxes on it. Our family has paid taxes for over 100 years on this place. We’ve got a deed to it. But yet they walked in and said it wasn’t ours,” he added.
If the BLM gets their way, the government could seize 90,000 acres of property that is currently in use along the Red River.
“Originally, here the river was out there where it is now and it eroded and accreted up to here, and then it eroded and accreted back. Well, their interpretation is that it eroded up to here but avulsed back. So when you listen to them it is always erosion to the south because the property line follows it then, but it’s always avulsion when it goes north. So the boundary can move south but it can never move back north,” Henderson said.
Scott Carpenter, one of Henderson’s neighbors is in a similar position, and wants to help in the fight against the BLM. His land is also under threat from the constant changing of borders along the river.
“We have numerous places that have been in our family for over a hundred of years, and you hate to see land that people’s worked hard for would lose. As producers we are always on a defense. We have to make decisions to try to help ourselves to help one another” Carpenter said.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)