GAINESVILLE, TX - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott spent part of today in Texoma looking to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by area residents.
Greg Abbott discussed several issues including education, water levels at Lake Texoma and about the recent dispute between the Bureau of Land Management and some private landowners in Texas.
The B.L.M. says the property belongs to the government, but Abbott sees it differently.
Landowners on both sides of a 116 mile stretch of the Red River are worried that the federal government might be trying to make a massive land grab that could include their properties.
Something that does not sit well with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
"This is alarming that we see the Bureau of Land Management doing because this is what we believe to be Texas land. Texas property that belongs to private property owners and the state," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
The Bureau of Land Management is in the early stages of developing a plan to claim 90,000 acres of land along the Red River, from the north fork of the red river, southwest of Fredrick, Oklahoma, all the way past the Wichita river to just north of Stanfield, Texas.
Land that Abbott says private landowners have owned, maintained and cultivated for generations.
"Now seemingly coming out of the blue, the Bureau of Land Management is coming in saying this is property that belongs to them and if that's their attitude in response to my question to them, then they're going to be facing some litigation from the state of Texas," said Abbott.
Abbott says the Bureau of Land Management has given him no reason or justification for seeking to take Texas land but says he'll fight for all North Texas property owners.
"From what I hear around Cooke County people are rightfully frustrated about the federal government coming in seeming to cease their property and we don't need the federal government coming in and taking our liberties, taking our property. Texas is a state that's firmly based upon private property rights and the rule of law," said Abbott.
Greg Abbott sent a letter to the director of the Bureau of Land Management seeking some kind of explanation for the land dispute.
He says he's deeply concerned that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government can swoop in and take land that has been owned by Texas landowners for generations.