STEPHENVILLE, Texas, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sid Miller, front runner in the Republican race for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, warned Texans to remain vigilant against attempts by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to seize 90,000 acres of privately owned land along the Red River. He further called on Texas Governor Rick Perry to mobilize the Texas State Guard, if necessary, to prevent the BLM from violating the rights of state landowners, citing the recent showdown in Nevada between landowner Cliven Bundy, the BLM and the National Park Service.
About 900 of Bundy's cattle were rounded up and designated as 'trespassing' by BLM. In the face of Cliven Bundy and supporters' resistance, the BLM backed down, but Miller warned that was a temporary delay. The dispute has since widened into a debate about states' rights and federal land-use policy.
"Televised images of armed federal agents attempting a forced cattle round-up on a rural Nevada range have alarmed farmers, ranchers and landowners, as well as ordinary citizens across the Southwest," said Miller, the former Chair of the Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety and Agriculture and Livestock Committees. "The actions of the BLM are unlawful, excessive and have ignited a war between law-abiding citizens and their own federal government."
In Texas, the BLM is attempting to use a 30-year-old federal lawsuit victory (140 acres of land taken from landowner Tommy Henderson with no monetary compensation) to seize more land along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River, extending the boundaries to the river north of Vernon and east to the 98th Meridian. The BLM clams this land never belonged to Texas; Miller vehemently disagrees.
"This property has been in many of the landowners' families for generations, and they've paid taxes for over 100 years," said Miller.
The Texas State Guard, charged with providing mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies, is not subject to orders from the President, and should be called in if needed, he urged.
"What happened in Nevada this week could very well happen in Texas next week and our citizens and their property have a right to protection. We must always be vigilant against federal overreach. We must act now and we must act decisively," Miller concluded.
Todd M. Smith
Sid Miller Campaign
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SOURCE Sid Miller Campaign