On Nov. 17 Gov. Greg Abbott announced his support of landowners and county officials in their lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management, which the governor and plaintiffs maintain is attempting to take control of privately owned land along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

The plaintiffs filed their suit Nov. 16 in the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas, Wichita Falls Division.

Along with numerous landowners, other Red River plaintiffs in the suit include Wichita County, Clay County and Wilbarger County. Clay County Sheriff Kenneth Lemons Jr. is also a plaintiff.

“I applaud the private property owners and county officials for standing up against the federal government’s brazen attempt to take private property from Texans,” said Abbott.

“I wholeheartedly support the landowners in their litigation against the Bureau of Land Management, and will be filing an amicus brief in support of their lawsuit. I fully expect the constitutionally protected rights of landowners along the Red River to be upheld.”

In their suit, the plaintiffs maintain a 1923 Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed that the south cut bank, or the southern gradient boundary, was the northern border of Texas.

They seek a judgment that finding that the Defendants have no right to the property outside of the vegetation line of the south bank of the Red River.

A month prior to the litigation, on Oct. 16 Abbott sent a letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze, who is also a defendant in the suit, urging him to end his agency’s attempt to encroach on the property rights of Texans living on the Red River.

Case No. 7:15-cv-00162

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