Wyoming Statutes Title 23. Game and Fish § 23-1-106. Migratory bird refuge in Bear river area

(a) Subject to acceptance by the United States fish and wildlife service of the provisions contained in this section, the state consents to the acquisition by the United States by purchase, gift, devise or lease of land or land covered by water along the Bear river or in the Bear river area in Lincoln county as provided in subsection (f) of this section.  The acquisition shall be as the United States may deem necessary for the establishment and maintenance of migratory bird refuges in accordance with and for the purposes of the act of congress approved February 18, 1929 entitled “Migratory Bird Conservation Act”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 715 through 715s , P.L. 70-770, the act of congress approved March 16, 1934 entitled “Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 718 through 718k , and the act of congress approved September 3, 1964 entitled “Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 460l-4 - 460l-11 , P.L. 88-578 , as these acts are amended as of January 1, 1989.  Wyoming reserves full and complete jurisdiction and authority over all such areas not incompatible with the administration, maintenance, protection and control of the areas by the United States under the acts of congress specified in this subsection except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(b) The acquisition of land or interests in land shall be conducted on a willing seller-willing buyer basis and eminent domain shall not be utilized as a land acquisition method except where a landowner and the United States mutually agree in writing to a quiet title action.  Unless otherwise negotiated in any arms-length agreements, an owner of land or land under water to be acquired under this section is entitled to reserve all oil, gas, coal or other minerals owned by him in or upon the land together with the right to enter upon the land for exploration, development and production of oil, gas, coal or other minerals.

(c) The board of land commissioners is authorized to enter into agreements to sell, lease or otherwise negotiate interests in state land with the United States.  State-owned land or land under water located within the project may be purchased or leased by the United States as a refuge for migratory birds, except that oil, gas, coal and other minerals shall be reserved by the state.  If any state-leased land or land under water ceases to be used as a migratory bird refuge, the lease shall be cancelled and the interests reverted to the state.

(d) Consent to the acquisition of land by the United States for the purpose of this section is conditioned upon the United States executing appropriate agreements with the state engineer which state:

(i) The United States shall comply with state water law, including the amended Bear River Compact [ § 41-12-101 ] and rules and regulations of the state engineer and the state board of control, in acquiring and exercising water rights for any and all beneficial uses related to the refuge;

(ii) No rights to use of water shall be implied by the creation of the refuge, and nothing in this section shall be construed as establishing a reserved water right for the United States;

(iii) No water rights shall be condemned to provide water for the refuge;  and

(iv) Historic use practices shall be addressed.

(e) Consent of the state for acquisition of land under this section shall not be interpreted as consent to the development of the refuge.

(f) The consent provided in subsection (a) of this section is limited to lands acquired by the United States prior to January 1, 2017 consisting of approximately seven thousand (7,000) acres.


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