WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A legal fight to keep his land is underway for a Wichita County landowner and former Wichita Falls mayoral candidate.
Kevin Hunter said he never thought it would happen until it happened, “I really thought we had some closure winning the lawsuit, but it didn’t happen.”
He said he thought his fight with the Bureau of Land Management was over, “we were fixing to go to trial, and they settled with us.”
But nearly five years after winning a lawsuit to keep most of his 600-acre plot of land, Hunter is bracing to head back to the legal battlefield, “It all blew up again, and from what i understand, the Bureau of Land Management is coming back under the same pretense and claiming all of this bottom land.”
But this fight goes even further back. In 1923, the supreme court ruled the state boundary of Texas is the southern bank of the red river, “any landowner on the red river needs to be concerned, according to Hunter. “They really do. I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, overstepping.”
According to that ruling, everything between that southern bank and the middle of the river belongs to Uncle Sam. But the Red River constantly shifts and dries up.
According to the bureau, that accounts for nearly half of hunter’s land. “out of about 600, it’d be 260 acres. What’re we gonna do? We’re getting our back pushed up against the wall.”
Hunter said facing this fight again has taken the wind out of his sails, “it’s taken a lot out of me. It’ll ware on anybody, i think. Any god-believing man.”
But Hunter said that doesn’t mean he’s giving up the fight, “they’re not gonna take my land. The line’s in the sand. They’re not gonna take my land. I’m not gonna accept that. I will go to my grave believing they’re not gonna take my land. I’m not gonna let them take my land.”
He has a message for anyone who owns land on the red river. “My advice to them is do not cooperate with the bureau of land management. It’s not gonna work out to your advantage. I did before and it didn’t work.”
Our newsroom reached out to representative Ronny Jackson and the Bureau of Land Management about Hunter’s case, but we have not received a call back as of publication deadline.
Hunter said he is organizing other landowners to get a plan of action together. stay with Texoma’s Homepage as this situation at the Red River unfolds.