- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The attorney general of Texas has a stark warning for state residents, on the heels of the federal government’s armed standoff at the Cliven Bundy cattle ranch: The BLM may be headed to our neck of the woods next, with intent to take over 90,000 acres of prime Red River property.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a letter to Bureau of Land Management director Neil Kornze that he has “deep concern” the feds are eyeing land along the 116-mile stretch of property along the Red River — the border line between Texas and Oklahoma — that’s been in private hands “for generations,” the Daily Mail reported.

He went on: “I am deeply concerned about reports that the Bureau of Land Management is considering taking property in the state of Texas and that it now claims belongs to the federal government,” Fox News reported. “As attorney general of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim — for the first time — that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government.”

Mr. Abbott also said the BLM hasn’t fully discussed “either its full intentions [for the land] or the legal justification for its proposed actions,” the letter stated.

The BLM, for its part, told Fox News that it’s “categorically not expanding federal holdings along the Red River.”

Still, local farmers and land owners are worried.

SEE ALSO: Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat

They suspect the BLM might use a 1988 federal court case that cited 140 acres along the Red River no longer belonged to a private landowner in Texas, because the water moved the property line, the Daily Mail said.

On top of that, land owners are nervous about what they view as ongoing federal encroachment into the West — and heightened aggressions, as played out in the Bundy ranch case that ultimately led BLM agents to take up arms and encircle his property. The BLM also shut down roads and closed off access to Mr. Bundy’s property, in attempt to put an end to a long-standing grazing fee dispute that’s played in the courts for decades. Hundreds of supporters of Mr. Bundy responded to the scene, some of them armed, and ultimately, the federal government withdrew.

But Sen. Harry Reid vowed the issue has not ended.

In a statements to the Las Vegas Journal-Review, Mr. Reid said of the Bundy family and supporters: “They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists. I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism. Cliven Bundy does not recognize the United States. The United States, he says, is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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