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senate Bill S. 1153

Settling Who Owns the Land Along the Red River

Argument in favor

Offers protections to land owners along the Red River by thwarting claims of ownership by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Also provides guidelines for determining ownership of the disputed river land between Texas and Oklahoma.

Curmudgeon's Opinion
I am appalled that the BLM owns so much land out west. We pay upkeep on it and states cannot receive taxes on it. I do not know what kind of ownership is described in the already deeded areas, but if alodial or fee simple then that should have prevented Uncle Sam or even the states from serious meddling.
Like (7)
Buster's Opinion
Another government thug agency that needs to be Gotten rid of and most of it higher up's tried for crimes against land owners
Like (4)
Bfallen07's Opinion
In fact I own land by where they are speaking!
Like (3)

Argument opposed

The land in dispute has never been technically owned by anyone in Texas or Oklahoma. Under the BLM’s control, the land can be made accessible to the public, preserved, or used by those who believe they owned it under federal regulation.

Kristine 's Opinion
If Cruz sponsored it then it must be wrong
Like (9)
Kathleen's Opinion
BLM preserves the land...doesn't seem to be anything new. My question What changed? What Industry wants to take the land for private use?...
Like (4)
billwdk9's Opinion
This should be settled by the two states in court. The Feds should stay out of it.
Like (2)

What is Senate Bill S. 1153?

This bill sides with those who believe the land along the Red River is private property. It would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to accept all claims of ownership that can be proven through official State or county records. If proven, the BLM must officially grant ownership to the private parties through a quitclaim deed. The bill also dictates that proof of ownership requests must be processed within a 120-day period.


People who believe they own private land along the Red River; the BLM; and those who would like public access to the disputed land.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1153

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) explained in a press release that the bill would protect property rights:

"Texas families that have owned land along the Red River for generations deserve certainty that their property rights will be protected from overreach by the Obama Administration. Today’s vote is a positive step toward ensuring the federal government’s land claims are restrained and Texas landowner rights are protected."

Of Note: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced H.R. 4979 as a companion to this bill. Both come in response to an announcement made by the BLM claiming that roughly 90,000 acres along the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma could be considered public property. This includes Wilbarger, Wichita, and Clay counties. If proven to be private property, the land in question cannot be used in any way for the BLM’s Resource Management Plan. 


Image from Wikimedia Commons user Unherdable


Red River Private Property Protection Act

Official Title

A bill to provide legal certainty to property owners along the Red River in Texas, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    IntroducedApril 30th, 2015