U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that it used incorrect methodology in three surveys that are the basis for the federal government’s claims to private property along the Red River:
“The BLM’s admission that it used incorrect methodology in these surveys and the decision to suspend the surveys is welcome news.
“The portions of the river that the agency has surveyed strayed widely from the accepted gradient boundary survey method established by the Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Texas. It is encouraging that the BLM has admitted their error and that all administrative action will be suspended until the matter is resolved. I will continue working with the landowners, local and state officials, and Senator Cornyn (R-TX) until this issue is resolved once and for all.”A copy of the BLM letter can be found here. Information about Thornberry’s “Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act,” which passed the House earlier this year, can be found here.
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Secretary Michael Young requesting that he provide a 60-day extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands for the Texas Panhandle Fires. The text of the letter is below.
“I am writing to respectfully request a 60-day extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands for the Texas Panhandle Fires.
“As you are aware, many counties in the Texas Panhandle recently experienced devastating wildfires. With almost 500,000 acres burned, thousands of miles of fence destroyed, and more than 2,000 head of livestock killed by smoke and flames; livestock producers are in dire need of places to house remaining livestock while fencing is re-established in these disaster areas.
“While the 30-day emergency use that has been approved by the USDA is very welcome and appreciated, I have heard from several producers that will not be able to build fences in time to meet the short deadlines. Replanting grasses and finding other sources of forage within a month’s time will also be a daunting, if not impossible, task. Additionally, there are several counties in my district that experienced heavy losses that are only eligible for grazing once every three years.
“Along with falling prices for cattle and our recent lack of rain, this disaster has certainly added additional uncertainty to affected producers. An extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands would provide a better opportunity for fencing to be rebuilt while providing a safe home for livestock. It will also help these struggling producers recover and get back on their feet.“Within your rules and regulations, I ask that you give this request your full and prompt considerations. I look forward to our continued and shared work to ensure the viability of our nation’s agricultural producers.”
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) is urging agriculture producers who have suffered livestock and property losses in the recent wildfires to file a Notice of Loss with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the federal assistance process. A Notice of Loss must be filed within 30 days of the time of the loss by phone or in person at a local USDA county service center. County service center locations can be found on their website at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
“Sally and I continue to pray for those who have lost so much in recent days, especially the families and friends of Sloan Everett, Cody Crockett, Sydney Wallace, and Cade Koch. Nothing can ever replace the loss of their loved ones,” Thornberry said. “For those who have lost livestock and property, it is important to assess the losses as soon as it is safe and begin the assistance process with the USDA.”
To qualify, you must have legally owned the eligible livestock, poultry, or swine on the day they died, and they must:
The program excludes wild, free-roaming animals, or pets or animals used for recreational purposes, like for hunting, roping, or show.
You must have had possession and control of the livestock and a written agreement with the livestock owner. The specific terms, conditions, and obligations of both parties must be set.
The following resources and information have been provided by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).
Agriculture Indemnity Program
Several programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths due to wildfires and other natural disasters.
Livestock Supply Points
The following livestock supply points are currently receiving and distributing donated feed resources to producers impacted by wildfires. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is not involved in the donation or distribution process. FSA is, however, raising awareness of the supply point locations where resources are available to producers located in counties affected by wildfires.
Supply Point 1
Serving ranchers in Gray, Wheeler and Roberts counties
301 Bull Barn Dr
Contact: Mike Jeffcoat
Supply Point 2
Serving ranchers in in Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hemphill and Roberts counties
202 West Main St
Contact: J.R. Spragg
Texas Department of Agriculture Hay Hotline
TDA's hay hotline helps agricultural producers locate forage and hay supplies for sale. If you need hay or would like to donate hay, visit www.gotexan.org/hayhotlinehome.aspx or call 877-429-1998.
For questions about carcass disposal call the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) at 800-832-8224 or visit their website at www.tceq.texas.gov.
Lost or Found Livestock
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement about the Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:
“Obamacare is failing and is doing damage to the health care of all Americans. This is the first step in a process that will lead to patient-centered care that provides more choices and lowers prices instead of mandates.
“I am sure that the plan will be improved during the legislative process, but it is important to get started and get this job done.”
2329 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
A fifth generation Texan, Mac Thornberry has strong ties to the people he serves in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mac is a lifelong resident of the 13th District of Texas. His family has been ranching in the area since 1881 – a family business in which Mac remains actively involved.
Mac shares the values of the people he represents and continues to fight for the things that are important to them. He is a longtime advocate of lower taxes and limited government. Boosting domestic energy production, protecting private property rights, and reforming health care are top priorities for Mac. He strongly supports cutting government spending and creating the kind of policies that encourage economic growth, rather than suffocating it. Additionally, as one of the few Members of Congress personally involved in agriculture, Mac understands the challenges agricultural producers face and has been a key player in efforts to support producers in the 13th District.
Mac’s wife, Sally, is also a native Texan. They have two children.