Harrold, Texas, cattle rancher Ken Aderholt and his family have worked the same land since 1941 – and now the federal government says it never belonged to them.
The Bureau of Land Management is taking stock of land along the Red River, which happens to be where the Aderholt family has lived for more than 70 years. The federal government says roughly 600 of the family’s 1,250 acres have always belonged to Uncle Sam.
“The BLM is saying we should have never had a deed to it, that Texas should have never produced that deed,” Aderholt told KAUZ-6 Texas Oct. 10. “It is a land grab. As far as I am concerned, this is private property.”
The rancher said his understanding was the federal government owned everything from the middle of the Red River to the beginning of the land’s vegetation line.
Aderholt told the Blaze on Thursday he received a phone call in 2014 from a BLM official who said, “You have reason to be concerned,” when he said the agency’s plan to redefine boundary lines along the river threatened his home.
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BLM public affairs specialist Paul McGuire told the Blaze a survey of the region has not been completed. Only when the “scoping” process is over will the federal government define what land is public.
Aderholt and other ranchers, who are in legal limbo until BLM finishes its survey, have formed an alliance and hired attorneys, he told the Blaze.