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Eminent Domain may close Texas park and butterfly center

The federal government is utilizing its eminent domain power to seize land for the U.S./Mexico border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to build thirty-three miles of barrier in Starr County and Hidalgo County. They have started notifying landowners in these counties of the government's plans to take the land.

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is located directly in the wall's proposed path. The center is positioned at the intersection of four ecosystems on one hundred acres of land. According to officials at the center, the center stands to lose seventy percent of that acreage if the wall is constructed. The center has filed a lawsuit to stop construction.

The State of Texas may also lose an invaluable state park. The wall's current plans will bifurcate the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have expressed concerns that the wall would make it impossible to operate the property as a park. Not only could the wall shutter the park, but the state could lose the property completely. The land was sold to the state "solely for public park purposes." If the state can no longer operate the property as a park, it will revert to the grantor's heirs. The state is presenting Border Patrol with alternatives in hopes that the park can be saved.

When a landowner is notified that their land is being seized, they need an advocate. We have experience representing landowners in eminent domain proceedings. Contact our office today.

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