Tribpedia: General Land Office

Tribpedia

The General Land Office is the state agency responsible for managing land and natural resources in the state’s public domain, which totals 20.3 million acres of land and mineral-rights properties. It includes beaches, bays, estuaries and other "submerged" lands out to 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as grazing lands in West Texas, timberlands ...

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Texas Sees Significant Decline in Rural Land

A field of corn in the Texas Panhandle
A field of corn in the Texas Panhandle

Texas is losing more farm, ranch and forest land than any other state, according to recent data. That has implications for water resources, which scientists say are better retained by undeveloped land. The data, from the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, also shows that land is becoming more expensive. Use these maps to see the changes for individual counties.

State lawmakers, including Reps. Debbie Riddle, David Simpson and Stephanie Klick listen to a local landowner explain how he lost his land in Clay County to the Bureau of Land Management.
State lawmakers, including Reps. Debbie Riddle, David Simpson and Stephanie Klick listen to a local landowner explain how he lost his land in Clay County to the Bureau of Land Management.

State Officials, Lawmakers Take Aim at BLM Dispute

After a presentation in Clay County on Red River land that's the subject of a dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Texas officials and lawmakers sought to reassure Texans who have managed some of the land for decades.

Tommy Henderson shows a survey of land along the Red River in North Texas. Three decades ago, an Oklahoma judge said 140 acres of land he managed belonged to the federal government – even though Henderson held the deed and diligently paid his taxes. Now, the federal government is weighing what to do with more land along the river, some of which has been in North Texas families for generations.
Tommy Henderson shows a survey of land along the Red River in North Texas. Three decades ago, an Oklahoma judge said 140 acres of land he managed belonged to the federal government – even though Henderson held the deed and diligently paid his taxes. Now, the federal government is weighing what to do with more land along the river, some of which has been in North Texas families for generations.

Blurred Lines: Texas-BLM Spat Has Complicated History

Amid a federal agency's looming decision about what to do with a ribbon of land along the Red River it claims — including some that North Texans have long considered theirs — Texas officials are speaking out on the issue. This is how we got here. 

A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.
A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.

AG Seeks Details on Federal Plans for Land by Red River

Texas officials are seeking more information on the federal government's plans to potentially take control of 90,000 acres of land long managed by North Texans. 

A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.
A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.

Despite Galveston Spill, Gulf Beaches Getting Cleaner

The tanker collision that sent up to 168,000 gallons of fuel oil into Galveston Bay on Saturday has stirred major concerns about environmental impacts. But even as tar balls wash ashore this week, Texas’ beaches are far cleaner than they were decades ago.

 

A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.
A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.

Galveston Bay Spill Will Take Economic, Ecological Toll

With no end in sight to containing a spill that may have dumped 150,000 gallons of fuel oil into Galveston Bay on Saturday, the hit to Texas’ economy and environment is already huge — and sure to grow. One of the world's busiest waterways and ports, and one of the nation's most productive estuaries, is at grave risk. 

 

George P. Bush, candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, delivers keynote address at 4th Annual State Legislative Conference
George P. Bush, candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, delivers keynote address at 4th Annual State Legislative Conference

Bush's Run Adds to Debate on Hispanics and GOP

Fighting the perception that Hispanic candidates struggle to win statewide Republican primaries, many party officials have pointed to George P. Bushwho is half Hispanic and the odds-on favorite in the 2014 land commissioner's race. Despite Bush's status as a favorite, many political observers say he should not be seen as the start of a trend. 

George P. Bush at the state Capitol on Jan. 7, 2013, the day before the beginning of the 83rd session.
George P. Bush at the state Capitol on Jan. 7, 2013, the day before the beginning of the 83rd session.

So Far, George P. Bush Running at Arm's Length

At the Texas Legislative Conference in New Braunfels on Friday, newbie political candidate George P. Bush was smooth, cautious and unremarkable. His aim was to get used to the spotlight without making a bad impression, and he got the job done.

Video: George P. Bush Keynotes Legislative Conference

George P. Bush, candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, delivered the keynote address at the 47th Annual State Legislative Conference in New Braunfels on Friday, telling the audience he's interested in education, in cutting regulations and taxes, and in helping the 1.7 million veterans expected to live in or return to the state over the next few years. After his talk, he left through a side door without talking to potential supporters or answering questions from reporters.

George P. Bush
George P. Bush

George P. Bush: The TT Interview

The co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas political action committee about his first run for office — a statewide effort for land commissioner in 2014 — about ideological divisions in the GOP, about Hispanics and Republicans in Texas, and about why he's getting into the family business. 

"Victory or Death" Letter to Return to Alamo for Exhibit

Texans will get to view the famous "Victory or Death" letter at the Alamo, where it originated, for the first time in February. The Texas Library and Archives Commission voted to allow Col. William Travis' famous 1836 letter to be displayed at the Alamo as part of a special exhibit.

Bill and Gail Mullinax's 720-square-foot Laguna Madre cabin is accessible only by boat. It is about a 10-minute ride from the nearest marina in Corpus Christi, where the couple lives.
Bill and Gail Mullinax's 720-square-foot Laguna Madre cabin is accessible only by boat. It is about a 10-minute ride from the nearest marina in Corpus Christi, where the couple lives.

Coastal Cabins Are Paradise for Permit Holders

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Through a nearly 40-year-old program run by the Texas General Land Office, several people hold permits to use cabins on remote, state-owned islands near the Intracoastal Waterway. Some have held their permits for decades. They appreciate the isolation the cabins offer — and the fishing isn't so bad, either.

Jerry Patterson, Texas land commissioner (left) and Karen Thompson, president general, Daughters of the Republic
Jerry Patterson, Texas land commissioner (left) and Karen Thompson, president general, Daughters of the Republic

Decision to Allow Booze at Alamo Draws Criticism

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which controlled the site until a year ago, has called the decision to allow alcohol disrespectful to the memory of the Alamo.

Hurricane Ike damage El Lago, 2008.
Hurricane Ike damage El Lago, 2008.

Federal Audit Questions $8 Million Paid to HNTB

Another disaster has hit the Ike-Dolly recovery program funded by the federal government: A federal auditor is recommending Texas repay over $1 million for ineligible or questioned costs, and find supportive documentation or repay an additional $7.59 million for inflated labor costs. 

Hurricane Ike era blue tarps still on the roof a Hurricane Ike damaged home near downtown in Houston, July 28, 2011.
Hurricane Ike era blue tarps still on the roof a Hurricane Ike damaged home near downtown in Houston, July 28, 2011.

Amid Finger-Pointing, Hurricane Relief Lags

Nearly four years after Hurricanes Ike and Dolly destroyed homes near the Texas coast, thousands of Texans are still waiting for housing assistance. The long-term disaster recovery effort funded by the federal government has made little headway. But where two state agencies faltered, another is stepping in.

Texas Oil Regulators Scrap Concealed Firearms Ban

Employees of the agency that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry will now be able to carry concealed firearms as they go about their work, following a unanimous vote on Tuesday by the three commissioners. "The least we can do is allow them to exercise their legal right to carry firearms in accordance with state law,” said Commissioner Barry Smitherman.

Jerry Patterson, Texas land commissioner (left) and Karen Thompson, president general, Daughters of the Republic
Jerry Patterson, Texas land commissioner (left) and Karen Thompson, president general, Daughters of the Republic

Control of Alamo Begins to Shift Away From DRT

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas are gradually being relieved of sole responsibility for one of the Lone Star state's most important icons after years of controversy over their management of the Alamo.