Storrie Lake will be open for fishing this summer, despite earlier threats to the contrary, officials say.
Last week, the state announced that it had reached a three-year lease agreement with the Storrie Project Water Users Association for land within Storrie Lake State Park.
The agreement also settled a lawsuit filed by the association against the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
The state had balked over entering another agreement paying Storrie $30,000 a year, saying it was the most expensive such arrangement in the parks system.
The association, meanwhile, ran newspapers ads warning that it would fence off the lake from the public if the state didn’t renew the agreement, which expired June 30. The group said it would allow people to fish from boats, but not from the shore.
The publicity brought both sides to the table. The new agreement is retroactive to July 1 and calls for the state to give the association $30,000 the first year, with $1,000 increases the subsequent two years.
“This three-year extension will allow all sides to conduct an open and honest discussion about a long-term solution that is equitable to the state and local citizens,” Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Jon Goldstein said in a statement.
Storrie Lake is the ninth-most visited state park. The state has been leasing the lake since 1959, with the exception of five years in the 1980s when the lease was in dispute, a battle the association won.
The state has maintained that it gets to use land at some parks, including Elephant Butte, for free.
However, the Storrie Project says the land for other parks is owned by federal agencies, not private nonprofit groups such as the association.
If the association had fenced off its land, it would have included the entire park when the lake was at its high-water mark.
The Storrie Project includes ranchers, farmers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which represents the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, southeast of Las Vegas. The federal agency is a 60 percent shareholder of the Storrie Project, while the state holds a small fraction of shares.