About Friends of Lake Erling Association Inc.
Together, we can conquer…! 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                    For More Information, Contact: 
                                                                                                                                                                 Sam Ledbetter, 501-396-5400                


Little Rock, AR (March 10, 2016)

On March 8, 2016, Friends of Lake Erling Association (FOLEA) filed a declaratory judgment action against the AGRED Foundation (AGRED) in the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, Arkansas. This lawsuit seeks a determination that the public has an unrestricted right of access to Lake Erling located in Lafayette County, Arkansas, as guaranteed under the Act of Exchange between International Paper Company and the United States of America. The Act of Exchange was signed in 1952 and allowed International Paper Company to construct Lake Erling partially on land owned by the USA. The lawsuit also seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent AGRED from restricting the public’s right to use the lake for boating, fishing, hunting and recreation.
From its creation in 1956 until recently, the public has enjoyed unrestricted access to Lake Erling under the Act of Exchange. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has stocked Lake Erling with fish and cooperated in the management of Lake Erling for the benefit of the public.  

Recently, AGRED has attempted to place restrictions on the public’s right of unrestricted access to, and use of Lake Erling. AGRED has asserted that it is entitled to charge an annual use fee and require that the public first obtain a permit from AGRED before accessing Lake Erling. Recently, AGRED erected signs at Lake Erling Park that state, “Starting March 2016 Vehicles will be towed at owner’s expense for not displaying the AGRED Foundation Boat & Trailer decals for motorized boats. Decals must be affixed to front left of boat and on the left side of boat trailer tongue.” AGRED’s efforts to restrict public access to Lake Erling violate the Act of Exchange and the public’s established right of unrestricted use and access to Lake Erling.

FOLEA is a non-profit group organized for the purposes of promoting the conservation of Lake Erling through education and other means and to support public access to Lake Erling. The membership of FOLEA consists of individuals who either own real property adjacent to Lake Erling or rent property adjacent to Lake Erling and have, in the past, enjoyed the unrestricted right to boat, hunt, fish, and engage in recreational activities on Lake Erling.

FOLEA is represented by Sam Ledbetter of McMath Woods P.A., and Joseph Hamilton Kemp, PLLC. Questions regarding this lawsuit, or requests for more information may be directed to Sam Ledbetter of McMath Woods P.A., at 501-396-5400.  


The Lake Erling dam and water flow are ultimately under an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2014 a prediction was made that some on the lake would face future lawsuits. At that time many people stepped forward and volunteered to donate to a legal fund for their neighbors. No one wanted to see a predatory takeover of the lakes private property one lot at a time. We asked you to wait back then, and now circumstance dictates it is time to take action.

We all realize that what happens to one can affect us all, and in turn what we do to help our neighbors win their legal challenges now will in the long run benefit us all.

The law firm mounting the combined defense for those who have been sued consider the suits as frivolous, but the process requires that the courts determine that opinion. Once established that the aggressors lack legal means, they can be compelled to cease their harassment.

It seems odd that the cost of filing the suits against our neighbors is greater than the money demanded to be paid. This can make you wonder about the intent of the people who filed the suits. Is it the money? Or is there an ulterior motive that requires they control your property.

Whatever plans they have to attack your rights, one case at a time, they will fail if we all get involved and stand together. They can only succeed if good people stand by and do nothing.

I am proud to be associated with this group who are standing up for their rights and the rights of their neighbors who may not possess the resources to defend themselves alone.

If you want to help the lake and your neighbors, join with us now. For more information on the public non-profit group Friends of Lake Erling Association Inc. (FOLEA Inc.), or how you can contribute time or resources, contact us at folea2014@gmail.com or at PO Box 567 Taylor, AR 71861.