The Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) is the Bayou State's leading organization of sportsmen and conservationists with 27 state and local affiliated clubs and 10,000 members. It represents a broad constituency of hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters and other outdoor-oriented citizens.
The goals of the LWF are to conserve the natural resources of Louisiana, with particular emphasis on fish and wildlife and their habitats, to protect the rights of Louisiana citizens to enjoy these resources in accordance with sound, scientifically established resource management principles, and to accomplish this primarily through education and advocacy.
Perhaps best known for its pioneering role in the establishment of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and more recently the constitutional amendment dedicating the Conservation Fund for the operation of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the LWF has a long history of defending habitat and winning advances for conservation and the environment.
LWF's staff and volunteer leaders are working hard on a number of conservation fronts. Here are a few examples of these ongoing efforts:
LWF is the chief advocate for fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation on the State Water Policy Advisory Task Force, a body established by the Legislature to guide the development of water management policy and planning for Louisiana. Feelings run high on the issue of water, but cooperation and respect among the participating stakeholders have prevailed, and progress is being made.
With continued LWF involvement and support, the state's Atchafalaya Basin Program has moved forward with projects and plans to enhance recreational opportunities and improve water quality through water management. The Federation also played an important supporting role in convincing national conservation/environmental organizations to view the loss of the Mississippi River Coastal Delta as a national environmental issue worthy of more emphasis in their agendas.
Sparked by closure to the public, LWF has proposed a management plan for Elmer's Island, a popular coastal barrier beachfront located west of Caminada Pass from Grand Isle, and initiated a campaign for acquisition and reopening to the public for the traditional uses of fishing, crabbing, camping and birding.
On the grounds of procedure, and precedent, LWF has opposed the management of state wildlife lands by a private corporation. LWF's position is that state wildlife lands should be managed by an appropriate agency of government that is accountable to the public. LWF will continue to pursue resolution of the White Lake issue in the best interest of the state's citizens and fish and wildlife resources.
LWF has established a Deer Management Committee to review issues concerning Louisiana's white-tailed deer herd, including health and hunting issues. Through the committee's initiative, LWF is engaged in a campaign to raise funds from deer hunters to support the state's efforts to monitor the deer herd for chronic wasting disease.
The LWF provided leadership to resolve a controversy that arose concerning timber management activities on state wildlife management areas. Now, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LWF is helping the agency reach out to non-consumptive users of wildlife management areas and informing the public about WMA forest management plans, thereby averting potential problems and misunderstandings that have occurred in the past.
LWF is encouraging the review of forestry practices in the coastal zone to ensure the sustainability of this important element of the ecosystem that serves as a line of defense against coastal erosion.
LWF supports farm conservation and land management programs to reduce the runoff of nutrients responsible for the growing "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.
LWF monitors legislative proposals concerning natural resources conservation and environmental quality, provides representation before the Louisiana Legislature and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and reports on the status of legislation to its members and the outdoor media in an effort to keep the public apprized of legislation that can impact the natural resources, environment and recreational opportunities in the state.
LWF is represented on numerous panels, committees and task forces pertaining to natural resources conservation and the quality of the environment including the Pesticide Advisory Commission, the Atchafalaya Basin Advisory Committee, the Habitat Advisory Panel of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, the Ground Water Advisory Task Force, the Management Conference of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the Louisiana Oilfield Site Restoration Commission, Louisiana Invasive Species Task Force, America's Wetland Foundation, Louisiana Artificial Reef Initiative, Governor's Commission on DEQ Funding and Efficiency, among others.
At the Federation's annual meetings, LWF members tackle additional challenges such as:
Encouraging oil and gas production companies to mitigate impacts and damages caused by pipelines, flowlines and locations in wetlands and waterways.
Developing a plan for consistent, long-term funding for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Halting the expansion of deer/elk pens in Louisiana and banning importation of these animals to protect the wild deer resource from Chronic Wasting Disease and other diseases.
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation continues to be in the vanguard of conservation and environmental policy in our state. Our future enjoyment of the outdoors in the "Sportsman's Paradise" can continue only with grassroots support from citizens like you. Please JOIN US!