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Concern Over Property Along Red River

Landowners along the Red River are upset over the fact a federal agency could possibly make a portion of their land public domain.
Landowners along the Red River are upset over the fact a federal agency could possibly make a portion of their land public domain.

Those landowners had an opportunity on Wednesday to voice their concerns about the Bureau of Land Management's development of an Environmental Impact Statement.

The EIS deals with land use in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Steve Tryon, Field Manager for the Oklahoma Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, says they have a responsibility to manage land they believe is federal which includes 104,000 acres of surface land, 593,000 acres of split-estate, or  private land with federal mineral interests, and over 5,270,000 acres of federal mineral estate on lands managed by other federal agencies.

Wednesday's meeting focused on potential federal land along the Red River and that has many local residents worried.

Tryon says there is an estimated 90,000 acres of land along 116 miles of the Red River that may be considered public domain.

He says boundary surveys have to be conducted to determine whether it's appropriate to have public use in the federal land.

A majority of the residents at the meeting, who live along the Red River, are against that idea.

"Well we heard overwhelmingly that many of the adjacent land owners are concerned that the public will trespass on their land if the public is aware that it is a public resource and many of them frankly would like to see it closed or they would like to see it open with limitations," Tryon exclaims.

He says if land is found to be public, they have three options: leave the land open, closed or open with limitations.

Tryon says it is crucial for the public to write and submit comments as to what they want to see done with the land.

He says they'll host 9 more public meetings across Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas over the next few weeks, and that the official public comment period closes on Jan. 31.

For a link BLM, click here.
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