Lake DeSmet Lease Decision Put Off Until January

Lake DeSmet Lease Decision Put Off Until January

The Wyoming Game And Fish decision to lease water rights in Lake DeSmet has been postponed once again, this tim re-scheduled until their January meetings in Cheyenne.

Originally the decision was to have been made this last summer, but was postponed until the November meetings at the request of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who is in charge of the funds for the lease, to complete an assessment of the water value they were to lease.

Paul Mavrakis, Sheridan Region Fisheries Supervisor, explains what caused the latest delay in the decision.

The lease is for 99 years, for water rights in the lake that the Game and Fish wants to protect the fishery there. They will pay Johnson County just under $3 million for the lease if approved by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mavrakis said although he has not officially heard a decision yet, it does at least look as though all entities are looking favorably upon the
lease agreement.

Johnson County Commissioner Johns Gibbs said both Sheridan and Johnson Counties have had an agreement in place to continue operating the reservoir, and those agreements will have to be extended, which both counties appear to be in favor of.

The Game and Fish meetings are set for January of 2014 in Cheyenne.

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