Game & Fish Commission Weighs $20 Million Bond Package for Conservation

NOVEMBER 21, 2006 - Posted at 3:33 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission could assure public recreational access to a lot more land if it buys easements instead of purchasing full title at higher prices.  The agency's director says a bond-issue program is being considered to finance the program.

Commission director Scott Henderson said yesterday that use of easements would also allow local governments to continue collecting property taxes on land that remains in private hands.  But the public would be able to use the land for hunting, hiking and other activities.

Purchasing easements would be a new undertaking for the commission.  That method would allow the state to pay about a third of what it normally would to own the property outright.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)