As many of us begin the month of March with little to no rain since the fall of 2019, we are taking steps to adjust our business models until the rain comes, and it surely will. Unfortunately it’s not always on our time.
I recently met with homeland security and justice analysts from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerning their examination of the U.S. Border Patrol’s acquisition of land for constructing the border barrier along the Southwest border. As most of you know, GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works as an investigative arm of Congress.
They reached out to STPRA again because of past history when, in 2013, then Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Michael McCaul (R) Austin and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D) Laredo co-signed a letter requesting:
See the letter in its entirety, here.
I had the opportunity to share my knowledge of how open and cooperative Border Patrol is with the effected landowners, in sometimes very difficult situations when they have to inform landowners about the Federal Government’s plans. The majority of landowners do not fault Border Patrol for their outreach, but, of course, some don’t like the Federal Government’s decision to build a border barrier.
I know many of you 80 miles and further north of the border have continued to experience smuggling issues on or near your properties. After personally experiencing property damage and trespassing and the uptick of this activity, I’m working with law enforcement to help in identifying ways to help the landowner. Please contact me if you have been affected by these occurrences. The more we document them, the better chance we have to stop them altogether.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank one of our directors, who will remain nameless, for helping in recent investigative work that might have been a breakthrough on helping build a case on a local smuggler. Thank you!
In 2018, STPRA and nine other Ag groups supported an amicus brief on behalf of landowners in the case of: Southwestern Electric Power Company v. Lynch. The issue at hand was allowing utility easements expansion without compensation. On February 28, 2020 the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling to the detriment of Texas landowners.
Sarah and Nicole are busy working on membership and social events, and the planning of an insurance informational meeting to address various liability issues facing landowners.
Our October 15th annual meeting and fundraiser is beginning to shape up nicely. As we announced a couple of weeks ago, Lara Logan, journalist and war correspondent, will be our featured speaker. And we hope to have an additional speaker announcement very soon.
Thank you so much for your support! I’m only an email or phone call away if you have an issue.
Until next month,