George P. Bush applauds House passage of the Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act

Legislation by Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Thornberry will protect landowners against illegal takings by federal government

Contact: Brittany Eck
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STATEMENT — Feb 14, 2017

AUSTIN — AUSTIN − Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush applauded passage of the "Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act" by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, authored by U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), seeks to end questions about the federal government's ownership of disputed land along the Red River. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has filed the companion bill in the Senate. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) are original cosponsors of the legislation. Here is the statement by Commissioner Bush:

"In Texas, we take property rights seriously and we have high expectations for our federal government to respect these rights. In Congress, Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Mac Thornberry are fighting to protect the rights of Texas landowners, especially those along the Red River who have had their land ownership threatened by government overreach.

"The children of Texas are one group of landowners in this case. Texas constitutionally dedicates this land to the Permanent School Fund and the mineral interests benefit the public school children of the State of Texas. The General Land Office is constitutionally charged with the sacred and solemn responsibility of maximizing revenues from Texas public school lands. 

"In Texas we are known for defending our state's rights and interests in furtherance of the aims of the PSF on behalf of the public school children of Texas. When it comes to property rights, don't mess with Texas."

The Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act commissions a survey of the 116-mile area along the Red River that has been contested by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The survey will use the gradient boundary survey method called for by the Supreme Court in its 1923 ruling to find the proper boundary between public and private land. The survey will be conducted by licensed and qualified surveyors chosen by Texas and Oklahoma. 

For more background information on the lawsuit filed by the General Land Office against the BLM in March of 2016, please visit


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