Those Texas landowners who went to court a few years ago to fight what they called a land grab by the federal government in a dispute over the Red River border have reached a settlement in the case.
A Federal judge has signed off on the settlement with the Bureau of Land Management after it attempted to claim the real border existed two miles south of the Red River in Texas. But the settlement agreed that the Texas border with Oklahoma lies with the flow of the river.
Robert Henneke, an attorney hired by the landowners near Wichita Falls, Texas called it an unlawful federal land grab and filed suit in 2015.. He had the support of Republicans in Texas including state Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
“Texas families owned and worked the land at the heart of this matter for generations, until the unfair attempt to seize it,” said Bush in a statement. “The Land Office had held mineral rights to this land, on behalf of our children and future Texans for nearly two centuries. Texans have always defended our land and our rights.”
At one point in the fight, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole entered the picture in an attempt to settle things, a story reported by OK Energy Today earlier this year.
What prompted the lawsuit was the move by surveyors for the BLM to place markers nearly 2 miles south of the river, claiming some 90,000 acres actually belonged to the government and not the private landowners. The area spanned 116 miles.
As for the settlement, Henneke says it has three provisions. One states that the river, wherever it may flow now and in decades to come constitutes the boundary. The federal government will also dismiss the land surveys that were previously carried out and the BLM will issue a disclaimer on maps the agency had earlier released showing federal boundaries extended into Texas.