LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - A group of entities with interests in Lake Havasu are mulling over possible changes to the wildlife refuge and popular tourist destination.
The group with a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, meets every six months, often discussing ways to balance economic and environmental issues relating to the lake. These and other interests tend to clash, so 14 local, state, federal and tribal partners work together under the MOU.
Jason West the Bureau of Land Management's Lake Havasu field manager, manages the meetings. West told us members, “talk about what we’re doing, what our plans are and really look for innovative solutions to the issues of today’s management for public lands.”
One problem the BLM hopes to get ahead of IS how to maintain service at its sites with expected budget cuts.
“We’re looking to partner with local, state and federal agencies as well as nonprofit groups to see if we can find volunteers or site hosts,” West said.
It’s likely the BLM will need the backup -- especially with what Arizona State Parks said it has in store over the next couple years.
Western Region Manager John Guthrie said the state agency IS working with other MOU members to attract more tourists to the Havasu Riviera and Cattail Cove. Among the planned additions and renovations are upgraded marinas, a campground, boat launch ramp and private living community.
Justin Butel, owner of Southwest Kayaks, said anything increasing customers benefits the city, which lives off tourism -- with one thing in mind.
“I think that everybody is interested in keeping the place a very nice, clean healthy environment,” Butel said.
The next MOU meeting is scheduled for July.