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Land ownership bill passes US House

Rep. Mike Johnson

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, Congressman Mike Johnson’s, R-La., legislation to stop government encroachment and return land claimed by the federal government to Louisiana landowners unanimously passed the House of Representatives.

“It is unconscionable that the federal government would be able to tell any citizen that the land they were raised on and the land they are now raising their family on no longer belongs to them,” said Johnson. “Yet, that is precisely what has happened to the people living around Lake Bistineau.”

Johnson’s legislation essentially voids a 1967 survey being used by the Federal Bureau of Land Management to claim the land surrounding Lake Bistineau. In effect, this bill will restore the original 1842 survey of the affected areas and nullify the legal impact of any future attempts to confiscate the land.

“This gross overreach by the Bureau of Land Management must be stopped, and my legislation ensures this land is restored to its rightful, private landowners in Louisiana,” Johnson said. “I am proud to have successfully ushered this legislation through the House and encourage my colleagues in the Senate to take it up in a timely manner. The people around Lake Bistineau deserve clarity and stability.”

Currently, more than 200 acres of land along the west bank of Lake Bistineau are being claimed by the government agency. The land is home to numerous private land and home owners, and Johnson’s bill would provide legal certainty to these citizens who have demonstrated ownership.