Johnson County, LDCC Discuss G&F Lease At Lake DeSmet

Johnson County, LDCC Discuss G&F Lease At Lake DeSmet

At their meeting Tuesday, the Johnson County Commission hosted a discussion with Luke Todd and Dr. Tracy Rhoads, who sit on the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition, on the proposed lease with Wyoming Game and Fish for water at Lake DeSmet.

The commissioners spoke of their concerns over the 99-year lease and the effects it may have on possible future industrial use of the water and the costs that may be involved in the future stemming from the lease.

Luke Todd responded by saying the lease is the best option the LDCC has had for managing the lake and for covering operation and maintenance costs of the reservoir.

Todd said the Game and Fish will also take over shoreline management at the lake, and the lease will only be for junior water rights with a clause in the contract to allow the nullification of the contract if water at the lake suddenly should become more valuable and is needed for industrial use.

Dr. Rhoads said there needs to be compromise from all entities involved, and the commissioners and Todd agreed that there could be room for both recreation and industrial use of Lake DeSmet.

Todd reminded the commission of some of the public's concerns.

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