Supervisor Buster Johnson would like to inform the public that as of Monday the Lake Havasu Wildlife Refuge is under new management. The Wildlife Refuge’s Deputy Manager, Daryl Magnuson, has taken over as acting Manager.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Magnuson and hope we can rebuild our relations with the Refuge,” Johnson said. “Relations between the Refuge and local government have been estranged over the past few years, and I am hopeful that with new management communication can start to take place again.”
According to Johnson, Linda Miller, the prior Refuge Manager’s, last day was Friday. She has been reassigned to the Yuma office.
“Federal, state and local officials along with myself and concerned citizens have been calling for her resignation since she closed off parts of Lake Havasu City waterways under the Refuge jurisdiction over a year ago,” Johnson stated. “The boating restrictions implemented were done so without any communication or notice to local officials or citizens. More than $252.8 million is contributed to Mohave County’s economy through boating recreation on Lake Havasu. No documented evidence was ever presented to prove that these activities were causing any harm to the wildlife or natural preserve of the Refuge,” Johnson explained.
“I am hoping with Mr. Magnuson communication between the Refuge and local government can start to take place again,” Johnson said.
Mohave County has already begun actively engaging Mr. Magnuson in regards to another issue in the Golden Shores/Topock area. According to Public Works Director Steve Latoski, an Environmental Assessment (EA) that was done for the County will need final approval from the Refuge to remove an existing manmade berm upstream in the Sacramento Wash. Removal of this berm will help to restore the wash to its historical flow path.
“The EA report is done and in the USFWS hands for review. We anticipate USFWS concurrence with the EA findings of no significant impact by the end of this year so that the County’s offsite project can proceed concurrent with the Oatman bridge project,” Latoski stated.