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About The Case
Aderholt et al. v. Bureau of Land Management et al.
The federal government is trying to take thousands of acres of Texas land from homeowners and ranchers along the Red River. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the land is inside the river and is therefore public land. But there is a major problem with the BLM’s view: the south bank of the river is about a mile north of where the government says it is. Furthermore, many Texans live on that land, and many others make their livelihoods from farming and ranching (not fishing) on it. These Texans have lived and paid taxes on the land for generations, and they have titles and deeds going back to the 1800’s.
Ken Aderholt lives along the Red River in Wilbarger County, Texas, and the BLM claims his house is on federal land. His land has been in his family since 1941 when his grandfather purchased it. He, his wife, and their two children live on the property, where they farm and ranch the land. He would like to pass the land on to his children, but BLM claims over half of Aderholt’s property.
Patrick Canan lives with his family along the Red River in Clay County, Texas. He has owned the property since 1963. He plans to continue improving it in order to develop its potential for wildlife production, farming, and ranching. The federal government claims approximately 1,400 of Canan’s 2,000 acres, making it difficult for him to improve his land and threatening his livelihood.
Kevin Hunter is a rancher and farmer along the Red River in Wichita County. Kevin and his wife, Elizabeth, would like to expand their agricultural business, but the BLM’s claim on half of their land has prevented them from achieving their goals. The Hunters would like to build a house on their property, but do not want to do so while the federal government claims their land.
Ron Jackson owns a ranch along the Red River in Clay County, Texas. The BLM claims approximately 750 of his 1,138 acres. He and his wife would like to move to the property, but they are reluctant to do so while the government claims their land.
William Lalk owns a ranch within Wichita County, Texas, which he purchased in 1979. BLM claims an unknown amount of Mr. Lalk’s property as federal land.
Ken and Barbara Patton live along the Red River in Wichita County. They have owned the property for almost 16 years and use it to run cattle. They would like to pass the land on to their son and daughter, but the federal government claims an unspecified portion of their land.
Kenneth and Barbara Patton
Jimmy and Irene Smith live along the Red River in Wichita County with their daughter and two grandsons. In addition to farming, they host charity concerts and chili cook-offs benefitting the local volunteer fire department on their land. Due to the Government’s assertion of ownership, the Smiths have resisted the need to fence the northern portion of their property, preventing them from making full use of it. The BLM claims approximately 100 of the Smiths’ 150 acres.