Osages to terminate lease at Wah-Sha-She park on Hulah Lake

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Osage Nation has informed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of its intention to terminate a lease agreement at Wah-Sha-She Park on Hulah Lake, tribal officials said.

In a letter sent last week, Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear told the Corps that the tribe will no longer be responsible for maintenance of the former state park, which is named in honor of the Osage people.

An Osage-Corps lease agreement was made three years ago after the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation announced it was closing the Hulah site, as well as dozens of other state-operated parks.

Wah-Sha-She Park site is located off State Highway 10 in northeastern Osage County.

Patrons of the Hulah recreation area reportedly were to hold a meeting at Wah-Sha-She park last Saturday evening to discuss the situation.

At press time, no additional information had been obtained regarding their response to the possible closing of the site.

Reportedly, the Osage Nation also has initiated discussions with Corps and state officials about a lease-management arrangement for Keystone Lake’s Walnut Creek State Park, which the state recently announced it would be closing on Oct. 1.

Walnut Creek is in the southeastern part of the county, near Prue.

The park at Hulah Lake generated approximately $24,000 in tribal revenue last year, while maintenance-and-operation costs were estimated at about $140,000.

According to 2013 figures provided by the State of Oklahoma, the Walnut Creek park brought $50,000 in revenue with operating expenses amounting to nearly $150,000.