BLM and Red River Landowners Still Discussing Possible Land Grab

- Red River land owners had another chance to talk to the Bureau of Land Management about the possibility that they could take some of their land.

Originally the BLM said they were surveying 90,000 acres of land along the Red River to see what was actually federal land despite people having deeds to the land.

At Tuesday's meeting they said they are looking at what to do with about 45 thousand acres and will not be surveying any of the land unless a landowner asks for it.

BLM officials say their goal is to figure out what to do with some of the land.

One option is closing off the land or closing it off with exceptions like cattle grazing.

“The area that's so heavily used around Waurika bridge could be managed as a park that could be manged by local or the state of Texas,” says Steve Tryon, BLM Field Manager.

The BLM also told landowners if their land is taken, they could get it back through the "Color of Title Act" which would give only the landowner the right to buy back their land from the government. It's an option landowner Jimmy Smith does not think is fair.

“Double dipping, I mean pay someone for it then turn around and have to pay the government for it. It's not fair to the landowners and they said they'd take into consideration, how much you've paid, your taxes and so forth but that's still not right,' says Smith.

Landowners and Clay and Wichita County officials were also upset because they feel they have not been adequately informed about BLM meetings and discussions.

But BLM officials say all three counties including Montague will be involved in the decision about what happens to the land.

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