AGFC extends Bayou Meto agreement

AGFC extends Bayou Meto agreement

LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today authorized the Director to execute a 90-day extension to the current Memorandum of Agreement between the AGFC and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to continue its commitment toward the Bayou Meto Irrigation Project.

The current MOA, originally signed in 2010, will expire on Dec. 31, 2015. This amendment will substitute a proposed 10-year extension to let the Commission thoroughly review the history and terms of the project before extending the AGFC's commitment.

Commissioner Ford Overton of Little Rock said that he was entirely in favor of helping enhance and maintain Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. He said the last thing he wants to do is hinder the project, but he felt it was prudent to make sure all Commissioners who were not on the Commission when the original MOA was signed knew as much about it as possible before entering into another commitment.

"I want to make sure that no one thinks this means I am not in favor of the project," Overton said. "I just want to make sure that when we make a commitment, from our standpoint, we have thoroughly reviewed and understand and are up to speed on every expenditure that we can make and have properly budgeted it."

In other business, the Commission:

*Accepted a land donation of up to 5 acres by Dr. Ronald Smith of Blytheville, Arkansas. The land will be developed to build a public boat access to the Strawberry River near Poughkeepsie.

*Heard a presentation by Martin Blaney, AGFC state habitat program coordinator, on the strides made in forest habitat management through local, regional and national partnerships and the use of thinning and prescribed fire.