Ashby calls for BLM to clarify intentions in TX
State Rep.Trent Ashby, r-Lufkin, has asked the Director of the Bureau of Land Management to be accountable for his agency’s proposed actions along the Texas/Oklahoma border. In response to rumblings about a potential federal land grab, Rep. Ashby has signed a letter that has been sent to BLM Director Neil Kornze. The letter poses several questions that could go a long way in clarifying the agency’s intention along the North Texas border.
“In the 1920s, the Supreme Court ruled that the border between Texas and Oklahoma fell on the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River,” Ashby said. “Years later, because of property disputes that arose when the river moved, the two states entered into a compact that said the border would be the vegetation line of the south bank. That compact was ratified by Congress in 2000, which means there is no more room for interpretation. So the main question is, what is the BLM even looking at, because the legal questions have all been answered.”
Among other inquiries, the letter asks Director Kornze to confirm whether or not the BLM agrees with the boundary lines that were determined by the states and ratified by the United States Congress. The letter states that if the BLM does not agree, the agency should ‘provide legal analysis supporting their new position.’
“According to the BLM, they are not preparing to take anyone’s land; and I certainly hope that is the case,” Ashby said. “I don’t think anyone wants a contentious situation here, so it seems to me that at minimum the agency should clarify its intentions with openness and transparency.”
Last summer the BLM issued a notice that it would be taking public comments and hosting public meetings while preparing a new Resource Management Plan for Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. While it is unclear what that means for Texas landowners at this point, Rep. Ashby has said that he will fight tenaciously against any attempt at an arbitrary seizure of private property rights by the federal government.
“Private property rights are one of the most sacred freedoms we have in this country, and certainly nowhere more passionately defended than in Texas” Ashby said. “This is one of the defining principles of America, and an ideal that was included in the 5th Amendment to our U.S. Constitution. Any federal agency that believes or acts otherwise, should reconsider as they will be met with strong resistance in Texas.”