Citizens against Caddo Lake National Heritage Area leave ring with a victory

When communities come together, stand together and fight for their rights together as American citizens and hard-working private land owners, their voices will be heard.
Personal freedoms were recently compromised by a government bill which would have made approximately 900 plus square miles of land surrounding Caddo Lake in areas of Texas and Louisiana part of a National Heritage area, and the people came together with gloves on and fought back, to keep their private property from falling victim to federal control.
Although the bill was pulled, Jenni Smith, member of the Citizens against Caddo Lake National Heritage Area and a Texas resident in the affected area, said it will be reintroduced and that the fight isn’t over.
 “We must be vigilant and continue to stand together,” said Smith. “I believe we need an extra layer of protection, so that programs like the CLNHA cannot affect this area without, at minimum, a vote in favor from residents, and when private property is involved, direct consent from land owners. Going forward, I hope we are allowed the opportunity to work with our representatives to create better protection for ourselves and others.” 
Catherine Clawson, is also a member of Citizens Against CLNHA / Caddo Lake’s Last Stand who also lives in the affected area, outside Jefferson. 
“The day the bill was pulled, a representative from John Ratcliffe’s office told a member of our team that the bill will be tweaked and re-introduced next year,” said Clawson. “We’re planning on fighting this until we no longer have to. The end goal is to make sure this cannot happen in this area.”
According to Clawson, the citizens are now wary of Heritage Areas, and she thinks there are better options out there to improve communities.
Not only is Clawson’s home affected, but her family owns property in Louisiana and Texas that would all be encompassed in this area.
“My family actually has specific pieces of land that have been named as interest points in the plan for the Heritage Area,” she said. “My family also has a business in this area that could be drastically affected by the establishment of the Heritage Area.”
“I, and many others I know, greatly appreciate our senators and representatives listening to our voices and dropping the bill this session of Congress. We hope that they will continue to listen, and not push this bill, or any other version of it, forward, in this Congress or the next or any after that,” Clawson added. “We cherish our land as much as any other. Our land is our history, and while we recognize that as being significant to the country, we want to say that it is most significant to us. This is our family’s land, and if your family is like mine, it’s been that way for generations. We are all concerned about the negative aspects we’ve discovered that have been direct or indirect results of Heritage Areas established in other places. We all want the opportunity to improve our communities, but we want to do it as a community. We want the citizens of our small towns to come together, rather than restrictions and regulations coming down pushing us into doing something we don’t all agree to.”
Tom DeWeese was the guest speaker at the public forum held in Hosston, La., on July 26. DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.
A native of Ohio, he’s been a candidate for the Ohio Legislature, served as editor of two newspapers, and has owned several businesses since the age of 23.
In 1989 DeWeese led the only privately-funded election-observation team to the Panamanian elections. In 2006 Tom was invited to Cambridge University to debate the issue of the United Nations before the Cambridge Union, a 200 year old debating society. Today he serves as Founder and President of the American Policy Center and editor of The DeWeese Report.
For 40 years DeWeese has been a businessman, grassroots activist, writer and publisher. As such, he has always advocated a firm belief in man’s need to keep moving forward while protecting our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.
KTBS Channel 3 news crew of Shreveport, La., estimated 400 people attended the forum in their news report that evening. Anyone wanting to learn more about Caddo Lake’s Last Stand and why so many people are against their land becoming part of the Caddo Lake National Heritage Area, can watch the forum on YouTube, ‘Caddo Lakes Last Stand Community Forum,’ or purchase a DVD of the event by emailing order requests to:
“I want to thank the community for their support at our recent meeting,” said Clawson
To join the fight against this bill, visit the Facebook page “Caddo Lake’s Last Stand” or visit the website at

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