For Eddie, the value of this property, which has it has been in his family for seven generations and counting, is priceless. It is a place that offers him both refuge (a home) and recreation—he enjoys being out in nature where he hunts and fishes both by himself and with his family members—but it is also provides his livelihood. Mr. Belcher raises cattle on his property and sells them for income. If the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir is built, it will flood the land, destroy his property, his home and his business.
Eddie Belcher is a Northeast Texan and property owner whose family owns over 700 acres in the town of Bogata. He has spent his life in rural Northeast Texas and loves the quiet the woods provide him as well as the natural beauty of the land. “You can come down here at night, and it’s so quiet that you can hear cars from Mount Pleasant,” he said. “And that’s too close for me,” he laughed, showing just how much he values living out in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle of the city. His property is one that will be permanently flooded if the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir is allowed to be built to provide a water resource to the expanding Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“I wish the people of Dallas-Fort Worth knew the value of this land, the real value of land that been in a family this long.” he said, utterly distressed.
“I get angry and emotional when it comes to the thought of losing this land. I just wish the people knew what the value of it is, and how much this land benefits them already with the cattle that we raise and sell.”
Eddie Belcher sits on the porch of his home in Northeast Texas, a house which he built with his own hands. Eddie’s home will be destroyed if the Marvin Nichols Reservoir is allowed to be built.
Eddie has two older brothers and two younger sisters, and he mentioned that all of his siblings feel the same way about the property. “One of my brothers lives right out here in the woods. He’s got a cabin,” said Eddie. His brother cut the logs and stacked them himself to build a real log cabin. With no electricity, Eddie’s brother lives off a generator and solar power.
Eddie also lives in a log cabin that he built with his own hands. And, just a short drive down the road from his house on the same property is another structure, the home that his great grandparents lived in which was rebuilt back in the 1950s. There is a small water well next to the structure and a pond. It is obvious that holding on to this land that has been in the family for generations is important to him.
“I am 61 years-old, and I spend every day right here,” said Eddie while standing on his property holding his granddaughter as her twin played nearby. “And, it’s really tough to give up something that you’ve had this long. It’s hard to think that I could lose it.”
Eddie Belcher plays with his grandchildren in front of his great-grandparent’s house on the family’s property in Northeast Texas. For seven generations, his family has owned land in Bogata (over 700 acres), and their property would be destroyed if the Marvin Nichols reservoir is allowed to be built.
Eddie has signed the petition opposing the Marvin Nichols Reservoir. Now, it is up to lawmakers to either remove the water project from the Texas State Water Plan and pursue alternative solutions for providing water to the growing Dallas-Fort Worth area, or to flood irreplaceable heritage family lands of Texans such as that of Mr. Belcher.