Some time ago there were some posts stating land expropriated by the state when Toledo Bend Lake was created was afforded special treatment regarding mineral rights ownership.  Several posts indicated the mineral rights for the property remained with the original owner and heirs.  Can anyone confirm if this is correct?  Have some elderly friends whose family owned several tracts that were taken for Toledo Bend, between Ebarb & Noble.  No one has contacted these people about leasing, and they were completely unaware of any mineral rights they may still hold.  Thanks for any help you can provide.

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belmont boy

I have no idea if compensation was offered for minerals under Toledo Bend.  I do know that on the Texas side, Federal government retained minerals where it owned them, and there are privately held minerals in some areas as well.  I think I recall, but I am not 100% certain, that the SRA has minerals, at least in a few areas, suggesting that they may have been purchased with the land on a case by case basis.

When the land under the lake was taken in Louisiana, the mineral rights remained with the owner and heirs in perpetuity. My family lost land to the lake and the "acreage" was leased several years ago. Note that we did list the mineral rights to that land in successions. Don't know if that was necessary or not.

We were leasing Ebarb when the Haynesville Shale was announced back in the  spring of 2008. This was the project we did just after I leased you Belmont Boy. All the deeds that I looked at, the owners reserved minerals forever. I wouild think that it would be the  same for all the Louisiana side of the lake. I also thought it to be the same for I-49 but recently have found deeds where minerals were not reserved.

SPL & Two Dogs.....Thanks for replies.  I'm just trying to help out some old people who could use the money.  Would make their "golden years" much nicer.  They deserve it!  I'm pushing them to go to an attorney for absolute answer to their situation, but am trying to get some indication of what direction they need to go.  Thanks again...

My dad sold a 3 acre lot to the state which is now part of North Toledo Bend State Park. The deed said we would hold the mineral rights but I've had land men tell me that it reverts to the state after a period of time like it does to private owners. Can anyone tell me if that is accurate?

Tom I am pretty sure it would be into perpetuity. I am not a lawyer just a landman.

Not a lawyer either, and legal advice would be better than mine.

According to Article 149 of the Mineral Code, land sold to an "acquiring authority," which would include the state or one of its departments, is subject to a perpetual servitude if certain conditions are met. If your father owned the mineral rights at the time of the sale, and reserved his mineral rights forever (rather than for a specific term), prescription does not run against your father's mineral servitude as long as the land still is owned by an acquiring authority of the state. 

Under Article 149(D) of the Mineral Code, if your father did not own the mineral rights under the land a different situation arises. If he had a mineral reservation not limited by a term in the deed to the state, then the existing servitude would continue to run in his favor as if he still owned the land. If the existing servitude (the one created before he owned the land) was not used for 10 years, and the land was owned by the state at the time the prescriptive period ended, the minerals would vest to your father, and would not prescribe as long as the land continued to be owned by the state. 

Of course, the actual language of the deed to the state is extremely important, and the language he used may actually result in the minerals prescribing to the state after all. 

Again, I'm a landman and not a lawyer. However, if your situation fits the circumstances described above then the landmen who told you the minerals would prescribe to the state are reading this article differently than I am, or not at all. 

My sister's children were contacted ( and subsequently leased) about some land that their deceased dad's parents had owned in the Ebarb area. It was not many acres, but it was under the lake, was my understanding. The grandparents had moved away when the lake took their land and no one had any idea they still had any rights to anything there.

All I can tell you is that my grandparents had land taken by Toledo and we do still have the mineral rights under it. I called the Clerk of Court in that Parish to confirm our ownership.  I had heard they were looking to lease or drill, but we have never been contacted either.  It would make sense to me for Company's to drill there since it would be less $$ than deepwater drilling, plus the possibility of there being oil there.  There were (maybe still are) wells in and around Zwolle & Sabine Parish.  Wish it would get on the move before my generation is gone!  SAM

Is this Sam B?

Belmont,

See Louisiana Revised Statutes 31:149....Any owner who RESERVES their minerals in a conveyance to the State or an "approved entity/agency".  The code goes further saying the reservation "shall reflect the intent to reserve or exclude the mineral rights from the acquisition and their imprescriptibility as authorized under the provisions of this Section".

You need to look at the former landowners conveyance into the state, and confirm that it contains a reservation.  That reservations should have some reference to the imprescriptibility of the servitude created in that act.  Not sure how this has played out in the courts, but you can bet it has been or is currently being litigated.

Best,

Ronnie

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