One of the hallmarks of Conservatism is the idea that local is better. The government is best kept out of the private lives and private property of individual citizens and our individual voices matter.
But that’s not what’s happening to one Texas rancher. Ken Aderholt and his family for generations before him has owned and been running cattle on 1,250 acres of earth in Harrold, Texas near the Red River that borders Oklahoma, since 1941. But now the Federal government is threatening to ruin all of that after it arbitrarily rezoned and cut in half the land that’s been in Aderholt’s family for over 70 years.
“It has been running through generations and handed on down to me,” Aderholt told KAUZ-TV in Wichita Falls. He has hoped his two sons could someday take over the family business, but at this point, it could be up to another three years before the Feds sort out the mess they’ve made.
Paul McGuire, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public affairs specialist, stated that “disputes” such as Aderhold’s are coming up because the BLM began the process of revising land management plans in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas almost two years ago.
McGuire claims that the land in question has been federal for a long time, but never actively managed. Well, never managed by the government, but it sure has been managed—and managed well at that—by farmers like Aderhold and his family.
Aderhold could apply for “color of title,” McGuire said, which takes into consideration improvements made over time on federally owned land and could allow him to hold on to it.
But Aderhold — who said his family has never been bothered by the government in over 70 years — isn’t laying down over what he told KAUZ is “a land grab.” The BLM has claimed up to 625 of his property’s 1,250 acres, Aderhold said.
Apparently the Feds, specifically the Bureau of Land Management is figuring out what to do with the land through a “scoping” process. The agency could possibly designate the land for activities such as birdwatching or horseback riding or exploring foliage. Or it could condemn it. It also could lease it back to Aderhold — or to somebody else.
What do you think about this story? Share your feelings below in our comment section.