Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson recently joined Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen, Representatives from Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake’s offices, State Representative Sonny Borrelli, Charles Wood, Chairman of the Chemehuevi Tribal Council, the Lake Havasu Marine Association President and CEO Jim Salscheider, and several other stakeholders for a face to face sit down with Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) Southwest Regional Director.
The stakeholder meeting was the first of hopefully many to come involving representatives from USFWS and the Havasu Wildlife Refuge to discuss lake closures on Lake Havasu City waterways under Refuge jurisdiction.
“Under prior management, relations between local officials and citizens has been mute. With new management at the Refuge and with the help of Director Tuggle, hopefully everyone involved can come together and make determinations that everyone agrees on when it comes to the usage of our Lake,” Johnson said.
During the two hour stakeholder meeting, Director Tuggle introduced Floyd Truetken, the Wildlife Refuge Manager from Roswell, New Mexico, as the new liaison for the Havasu Refuge. Mayor Nexsen urged Director Tuggle and Mr. Truetken to reverse the decision of the prior Refuge manager.
In May of 2015, the Service issued a News Release that established new boating restrictions and expanded the no wake zone within the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, effectively closing motorized boating in an area that had been utilized by recreational enthusiasts for decades. This order was “effective immediately” and the newly closed areas were quickly marked with regulatory buoys and signs.
Director Tuggle would not agree to reverse the decision immediately, but did give his word that he would look over the Administrative Review that was made in regards to the closure.