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New group launches to mobilize Northeast Texans against Marvin Nichols

Private land, jobs, and natural resources at stake

The long-discussed Marvin Nichols Reservoir is gaining momentum. The
project, proposed on the main stem of the Sulphur River in Red River and Titus Counties, would
flood more than 66,000 acres of heritage farmland, hardwood forest and wetlands in Northeast
Texas to pipe water to the DFW Metroplex.


In response, landowners, business owners, community leaders, conservationists, and local
elected officials have formed a coalition opposing the Reservoir, launching a new campaign
called “Preserve Northeast Texas: Stop Marvin Nichols.” The coalition is fighting to protect the
region from one of the biggest transfers of private land to public in modern history.
“This project would have a devastating effect on our economy, drowning resources for our
timber and agriculture-based economy,” said Bill Ward, Owner of Ward Timber Company. “It
would also impact the area’s wildlife habitat and inundate archaeological and historic sites and
cemeteries, capturing thousands of acres of family lands.”
Water providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are predicting a strain on the region’s future
water supply, based on expected population growth continued high per capita water use.


Rather than looking to viable solutions through conservation efforts and existing reservoirs, the
Metroplex has chosen to propose yet another reservoir to meet their water demands. In
addition to the land that would be flooded, the proposed reservoir would require that at least
another 130,000 acres be taken from private ownership to mitigate wildlife habitat losses
created by the reservoir.


“This project is in our backyard,” said Gary Cheatwood, Member of the Preserve Northeast
Texas Steering Committee. “But the benefits would go to urban areas to the west of us. The
Marvin Nichols Reservoir would rob us of vital natural resources so that DFW-area residents can
water their lawns and fill their swimming pools.”


Though the issue was first raised in 2001, it has recently gained momentum and remains a
serious threat to the people, economy, and natural character of Northeast Texas. The proposed
timeframe for building the reservoir has been moved forward. Supporters are stepping up their
efforts in the current State Water Plan. Preserve Northeast Texas hopes to familiarize folks in
the region with these dramatic impacts, and garner support from local residents and elected
officials to advocate for Northeast Texas and private property rights.


The Preserve Northeast Texas Steering Committee includes:
Bill Ward, Jim Thompson, Max Shumake, Shirley Shumake, Atlanta Mayor Travis Ransom, Linda
Price, Richard LeTourneau, Cynthia Gwinn, Gary Cheatwood, Janice Bezanson
Residents of Northeast Texas are invited to join the campaign and add their name to the
growing list of residents opposed to Marvin Nichols. You can learn more about Preserve
Northeast Texas: Stop Marvin Nichols online at and on
Facebook and Instagram at @PreserveNortheastTexas.

Bowie County Citizens Tribune

139 E.N. Front Street
New Boston, Texas 75570