Fish and Game should amend the terms of its leases either to require that the lessee make lease payments to the State or to include specific improvements and repairs of comparable value that the lessee must perform in lieu of making lease payments. In either instance, Fish and Game should include a provision in the lease for payment if the lessee owes money to the State at the end of the lease period. If it decides that future leases should require a lessee to make specific improvements and repairs, Fish and Game should do the following:
• Develop a system to track all pertinent information related to a lessee's cost for improvements and repairs to be credited against the lease.
• Require the supervisor to reconcile payment records at least annually with each lessee to ensure that the State's records are accurate and that the State receives full benefit from leasing the state property.
Fish and Wildlife created new lease templates for agricultural land use and vegetation control which have been approved by the Department of General Services. It stated that all new leases will be drafted using these new templates. The templates include provisions that require the lessee to make payments in advance to the State and prohibits improvements and repairs to be made in lieu of making lease payments.
Fish and Wildlife reported that effective November 2013, it terminated its lease of land in the wildlife area described in our report. The termination letter directed the farmer to work with Fish and Wildlife's regional manager to reconcile the payments and credits owed regarding the lease. In addition, Fish and Wildlife stated that, for the remaining existing agricultural land use and vegetation control leases, some leases were cancelled and others will be allowed to expire according to the terms of the lease agreement. Fish and Wildlife stated that it will draft any new leases for these areas using the templates described above.
Fish and Game has failed to provide a response. (See 2013-406, p. 283)