77-6-116. Voluntary termination of lease to allow concurrence with federal conservation reserve program -- competitive bidding required. (1) A lessee of state land who wishes to enter the state land in the federal conservation reserve program may request voluntary termination of the remainder of the lease prior to scheduled expiration in order to seek a renewal lease that will run concurrently with the federal program. The lessee shall apply for voluntary termination to the department on a form prescribed by the department. The form must specify:
(a) the name of the lessee and a designation of the leased land for which voluntary termination is sought;
(b) the scheduled termination date of the lease; and
(c) the term of eligibility of the land under the federal conservation reserve program.
(2) Upon receipt of a proper application, the department shall terminate the remainder of the lease. When a request for voluntary termination is granted, the department shall fulfill the notification requirements of 77-6-204, and the lease is subject to the same competitive bidding process as renewal leases under 77-6-205. However, the lessee requesting voluntary termination retains the preference right allowed under 77-6-205.
(3) If a lease renewal is granted pursuant to 77-6-205 to a lessee who has requested voluntary termination under this section, the term of the renewal lease must coincide with the term of eligibility under the federal conservation reserve program.