Judge Rules For Texas Landowners In BLM ‘Landgrab’ Case

Photo credit, Courthouse News Service report, 6/30/16

Photo credit, Courthouse News Service report, 6/30/16

The Courthouse News Service is reporting that a federal judge this week ruled “… that Texas landowners can sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for its alleged seizure of 90,000 acres of private property along the Red River boundary with Oklahoma. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted in part and denied in part the BLM’s motion for partial dismissal.

The report backgrounded that “… eight private landowners, Clay County Sheriff Kenneth Lemons Jr. and three counties sued the BLM in November. They claim it is “well established” that Texas begins at the southern bank of the Red River and that federal ownership is limited to the bottom half of the sandy riverbed outside of the state. They say the BLM asserts that the boundary extends past that, sometimes by more than a mile.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened on the plaintiffs’ behalf within days, calling the action an illegal “land grab” by federal officials. The CN also noted that “… in a 40-page opinion Wednesday, O’Connor declined to dismiss the plaintiffs’ request for declaratory judgment, mandamus and an injunction ‘regarding the method for locating the boundary between their property and federal territory’ because they have constitutional standing.”

CNS – Texans Contesting U.S. Land Seizure Get Leg Up With Lawsuit

Fracking Brings Lawsuit Over National Forest Access

elk-nps2Five environmental groups are suing the federal government in hopes of stopping leasing some 20,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest for fracking, the process of extracting natural gas by applying pressure via water injection. The injections shatter rock formations and free the gas. In the new lawsuit, the Courthouse News website backgrounds that “… the U.S. Bureau of Land Management created 13 new mineral leases in the national forest in October 2014, without required environmental impact studies and without considering the harmful effects of fracking… in doing so, the BLM, the Forest Service, and the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, the groups say.”

The groups bringing the lawsuit are the WildEarth Guardians, Amigos Bravos, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, and the Sierra Club. Read more here:

CNS – Greens Fight Fracking in National Forest