Is Your Land Really Your Land? Canadian Company Claims Texas Farmland

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texas family farmFor three generations, Julia Crawford’s family has farmed a 600-acre ranch near Paris, Texas. The Crawford family farm was purchased by Julia’s grandfather back in 1948; since then, her family has worked hard to maintain and farm their land.

Despite being good land stewards, and legally purchasing the land, the Crawford family is now in jeopardy of losing their farm to a Canadian company that wants to build an oil pipeline through Texas.

It all started when TransCanada used eminent domain to take over Crawford’s land, to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Since that date, the Crawfords have been fighting an uphill legal battle to try to keep their land.

Last month, a Texas judge gave TransCanada the right to condemn land and build their Keystone XL pipeline across privately owned property in East Texas. This ruling was a blow to the Crawfords, and many other area farmers, who are fighting for the right to keep their property and livelihoods. The Crawford’s plan to appeal the ruling with the 6th Court of Appeals, but most legal experts think the court will likely rule in favor of TransCanada.

No matter what the final ruling may be, the fact is, property rights are under attack in this country. From the heartbreaking story of Andrew Wordes – who took his life after code enforcement teams seized his home – to the federal government’s attempts to regulate small farms out of existence and use the EPA to seize private land, it seems like some people want private land ownership to come to an end in America.


Responses to " Is Your Land Really Your Land? Canadian Company Claims Texas Farmland " Please share your thoughts...

  1. Mike says:

    Sounds like they are invoking some form of Eminent Domain, where “the property is taken either for government use or by delegation to third parties who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, economic development.”

    These acquisitions typically includes a pittance of compensation compared to the actual value.

  2. chuck says:

    New york did it to my father in the 60’s.Took his 80 acre farm for wildlife area,plus three other family farms.He got 10% over what he paid in 1947.

  3. texican says:

    Haven’t seen a map of where the XL will go… but I wish they’d cross my place (I live in E Tx). Most of my place is pasture, and I already have three (or is it four?) pipelines crossing my land. It doesn’t effect the hay meadows or the field crops one bit. They fly over maybe once a year, and they’ve actually been on the ‘ground’ once in 20 years. They pay a fortune, then they leave, and you never see them again. If they came across my place, I could make up to 150K… enough to build a hardened compound and stock it with all sorts of unaffordable goodies. They don’t ‘buy’ the land, they’re buying a Right of Way. You still own the land, water, and minerals. ROW’s in TX go for up to 500/rod (16.6′ long… convert this ROW equation to a per/acre price, and it’s around 43K/acre.

    And, for those that aren’t aware… E. Tx is crisscrossed backwards and forwards with pipelines…

  4. Mike says:

    LOL… I notice many grammatical errors on many posts and replies throughout the blog. Yes, it does make me question the integrity of the statement being made by that individual.

    • Hazle says:

      Then you may be believing statements made in
      error. Just because a person spells and punctuates correctly doesn’t prove their
      character or information.
      Is Canada’s company trying to buy the land or just get a right-of-way across it? It doesn’t bother the land at all to sell them a right-of-way. I have owned land with pipelines across it and you never know they are there — except on that narrow strip you can’t build anything over it. It usually runs beside a fence where it can.

      • Mac says:

        Hi from the UK…well, if u can’t express ur concerns over ur freedom and the State screwing u without a spelling or gramma mistake u don’t deserverve 2 be 3 (posting sarcastically!!!!)…

        Seriously, it’s the people who are less educated who are more likely to be screwed by the gov or large companies, why should someone’s ability 2 use spellcheck or knowledge of when 2 use a comma mean their opinion is less valid or trustworthy.

        Mac…posting from country where only criminals or Gov have guns ( upto 5 million illegal guns in the hands of crims)

        • RJ says:

          Only criminals having guns must be the reason London’s violent crime rate is 7x that of NYC

  5. SWIFT says:

    Anyone, anywhere, threatened with eminent domain issues, where courts have ruled it’s ok to steal from the poor, to give to the rich, should lock and load. Make the take over as expensive as possible. If enough people refuse to be pushed around for the sake of the rich, things will change. Form militias of neighbors for the security of everyone’s property.

    • Arden says:

      The lock and load method might be a bit on the extreme side in this matter. Before you go out half cocked and blow holes in people who are doing their job in attempt to feed their families, try the legal system first. It is there for a reason. This family might be able to skip the courts and talk directly to a company rep and offer to sell them an ROW, for a reasonable price based on the amount of land the company needs to run the pipeline, and settle it between themselves in a manner that is profitable for both.

      All the family needs to do, realistically, is explain to the company that they can either spend a lot of money on legal fees and have the potential to lose the case in higher courts, or pay for the land and save money in the long run. The company spends less, the family earns some and everyone is happy.

      Just my 2 cents for the day, thank you.

      • kEN says:

        you’re a coward

        • Dan says:

          He’s a coward because he suggested a non-violent approach? I suppose MLK and Ghandi are also cowards?

      • Molon Labe says:

        The legal system WAS there for a reason. Now it’s prohibitively expensive and far too slow to get anything useful done.

      • pissed off says:

        The people that say their just doing there job, are traders, they know what there doing,and their doing it for money. If they where real people they wouldn’t do that job, they would find a job that helped people. We manage to make a living with out screwing other people.

  6. kEN says:

    eminent domain is word for legal theivery,but the open end of a .44 usually put an end to it back in the day.of course, if Judge Roy Bean caught them the horse hair rope worked jus as well. I beleive the old phrase was “come and take it”.

  7. kEN says:

    If you don’t protect your stuff who else will; these type of incidences must be stopped and as some navy seals say “violence works”, especially if that’s all you have left.It usually sends a pretty good message also.

  8. Dave says:

    There are fundamental differences between easements (rights of way) and eminent domain. Easement, as was pointed out in posts earlier, occurs when an entity enters in an agreement with land owner…money exchanges hands…then they leave. It’s an agreement to use your land.
    Eminent domain, which has been in existence for quite sometime, is the forceful taking of your land. Yep, there is some money involved but nowhere near the value of the land because it is now legally categorized as condemned.
    Oh yeah…and a note to those that are about to enter into a right of way agreement with a pipeline company…Make sure there is language in the contract that they remove the pipeline when that line gets abandoned. Once that line is abandoned and the right of way easement is abandoned, it reverts to the original owner…and the original owner footsteps the bill if anything environmentally happens due to that line and what it carried.

  9. jim says:

    If thugs ever bare down on you? Maybe you should bring that up. Let them know you do not take them seriously and their grammar and language structure needs some improvement, while they beat you to death and take your stuff.

  10. JeffK says:

    Regarding protecting one’s property: You are right that if you won’t protect it, nobody will. However, the legal system exists for a reason. Violence shouldn’t be the first answer when there are other possible solutions… You can always draw your gun and defend your land if the legal system fails, but you can’t un-fire a bullet once it leaves the chamber.

    Just my two cents.

  11. Frank says:

    Property in the States is purchased under Fee Simple, and never grants true ownership. Because of this any agency can take it away, at any time, under any pretense. Fee Simple, gives on the right to pass the property to heirs, but never the right of ownership.

    In this legal battle, TransCanada, with its superior financial power, can buy its way through all the restrictions and red tape. The State of Texas, gaining immeasurably from this venture, is more than likely motivated to take advantage of any opportunities.

    This struggle to take the property would have been a much harder political game if the property was in Trust. Here, the judge would be caught between destroying Trust law, thus violating all the International Banker’s holdings through Trust, and the greed in which he or she may have become caught. Further, if the Trustees were savvy, well founded in Constitutional precepts, the battle may have deterred this unfortunate outcome, or the needed bribes large enough to get cooperation from the owners.

    Trust law is founded on the “Obligation of Contracts.” For the judge to break a Trust, he has to rule against the Obligation of Contracts, making this contest of wills are much more difficult battle.

    Article 1, Section 10, of the US Constitution, paragraph 1 is copied below.

    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility. [Emphasis added.]

    This clause is a RESTRICTION on the Government. I’m not stating that this would be a win for the farmers, but it would be another layer of protection for them. After all, the Government we know today are not Constitutionalists, they are a Kleptocartes.

    We hope better arguments are used in the Sixth Court of Appeals so this seemingly rape and plunder will be stopped.

    This article was sent to our list with comments.

  12. watchemen lewis says:

    i guess you Texans best rock and roll

  13. Jake says:

    The country needs the energy. Very sorry about your farm. But take the money from the sale and leave. This isn’t for the government – it is for all of us energy using Americans.

    • Ryan says:

      It’s not for Americans to consume, the Keystone pipeline takes Canadian oil to the Port of Houston so it can be processed and exported. The country has al the energy we can use, right beneath our feet and there are plenty of power stations that produce and function well but are being shut down due to crushing EPA regs every year costing millions.

    • Carla says:

      If our country was so desperate for that particular energy, we would be keeping what we extract, rather than exporting it, so that reasoning doesn’t wash.

  14. Terry M. says:

    I say hell with legal recourse, thats for people with money and connections, I say send them dreggs to hell and be damned, this is our country not the cannucks. If they want it come and get it. Inbred swines.

  15. Bug says:

    Ive always heard “You never really own your own law, the government will always have their fingers in it”

  16. Rastus McGee says:

    I can agree where eminent domain is truly for the public good, still have problems though! What really gives me heartburn is where the govt up north took land from folks that were good folks minding their own biz and gave their land to private enterprises to increase the tax base for the local govt!!!! Now that’s worth big trouble in little China!! Reckon there really should be no govt taking with out real serious reasons…….who decides what are good reasons?………

  17. francis connell says:

    i have never truly believed the “United States of America” belongs to “AMERICANS”.Americans have been betrayed by every country and race that have set foot on these shores.North America should be given back to the “people” that “lived” on the land in the first place.

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