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With 90,000 acres of land at stake, the Texas Attorney General and state’s General Land Office are joining landowners in trying to stop the federal government from taking Texans’ property.

The Bureau of Land Management claims 116 miles of land along the Texas-Oklahoma border is federal property, a contention disputed by families who have owned, maintained, and used the land for years.

A fight in federal court picked up steam yesterday when a federal district court allowed Land Commissioner George P. Bush to enter the lawsuit on the side of the landowners.

Earlier this month, the court permitted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to join the suit.

“We will not allow the federal government to arbitrarily infringe upon Texas land and undermine the private property rights of our citizens,” Paxton said when announcing his intention to enter the fray.

In a statement issued yesterday after the federal court allowed his agency’s entry into the fight, Bush said “When it comes to property rights, don’t mess with Texas.”

Bush described the BLM as attempting to “unlawfully take privately and publicly owned lands” that belong to individuals or to the state.