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Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission yesterday authorized Director Austin Booth to amend a long-term lease agreement with Central Arkansas Water to expand Maumelle River Wildlife Management Area in Pulaski County by 2,395 acres.
According to Ben Batten, AGFC deputy director, Maumelle River WMA was created in July 2010 when CAW agreed to allow hunting and other outdoor recreational activities on its property around Lake Maumelle with AGFC’s oversight. In July 2013 the two organizations signed a 99-year lease agreement for $1 million to ensure public hunting access on 18,861 acres around Lake Maumelle.
“Previously to that point there was no hunting allowed on that property at all and it allowed for some small game hunting and limited archery hunting for deer,” Batten said.
Last year, CAW approached the AGFC with an offer to reset the 99-year lease and add 2,395 acres the water utility had acquired to protect the watershed since the initial agreement. AGFC will pay CAW an additional $226,825 under the amended lease agreement.
“It equates to a cost of 54 cents per acre per year, which is an incredibly good value,” Batten said.