LDWF News Release

2014 International YHEC Champions Recognized at Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/08/2014

2014 International YHEC Champions Recognized at Commission Meeting

Sept. 8, 2014 – Louisiana youth hunters garnered top honors this summer at the 2014 NRA’s International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) held in Mansfield, Pa., in July.
Their efforts were recognized by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Hunting Heritage Coordinator John Sturgis at the Sept. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.
The top 20 seniors and juniors from the state competition were awarded the opportunity to attend the International Challenge following their success at the Louisiana State YHEC  event held in Pollock, La., on the weekend of May 31 – June 1.
Youth from across the state, ranging in age from 10 to 18, competed in eight different events that tested their shooting and mental skills. The eight events were comprised of four shooting and four non-shooting events: archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, 22 rifle, plus hunter responsibility, hunter safety on the trail, orienteering skills and wildlife identification.
The top 15 seniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants Doyle Donaldson (overall state Senior champ), Conner Chaisson, Jordan Palmisano, Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Lane Leblanc and Christopher Becnel; Greater New Orleans participants Brad Petras, Blake Morris, Austin Faucheau and Seth Rome; plus Austin Pace from Desoto Parish; Elijah Dupree from Acadiana Parish; and Emily Fulton from northwest Louisiana.
The top 15 juniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants William Powell (overall state Junior champ), Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos, Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell; Greater New Orleans participants Blake Rogers, Jay Madden, Gavin Madden, Jacob Landry and Tyler Abadie; and Austin Daily from Rapides Parish.
The top 10 senior and top 10 juniors from the state then advanced to the YHEC International Challenge held in Mansfield, Pa., during the week of July 18. The Louisiana competitors were broken into five-man shooting teams. The Senior Gold Team included: Doyle Donaldson, Emily Fulton, Conner Chaisson, Brad Petras and Jordan Palmisano. The Senior Silver Team included Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Austin Pace and Christopher Becnel.  The Junior Gold Team was comprised of William Powell, Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos and Jay Madden. And the Junior Silver Team was comprised of Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell.
The Louisiana teams, competing at the International Challenge as the Bayou Bandits, received the following awards:
Senior Gold Team: Team Overall International Champion; including 3rd place muzzleloader, 1st place shotgun, 1st place rifle, 3rd place hunter responsibility test, 2nd place safety trail, and 2nd place wildlife identification
Junior Gold Team: 1st place shotgun and 3rd place safety trail
Doyle Donaldson: Senior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in rifle, 3rd in shotgun and 1st in hunter responsibility
Ian Duplantis, Senior: 1st in safety trail and 2nd in shotgun
Jay Madden, Junior: 3rd in muzzleloader
Brad Petras, Senior: 1st place in wildlife identification
William Powell: Junior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in shotgun, 1st in hunter responsibility, 1st in orienteering and 3rd in wildlife identification
YHEC is a National Rifle Association youth program that teaches youth outdoor skills with its main focus being the safe handling of firearms.  The program is taught by certified hunter safety instructors, coaches and parent volunteers.
The YHEC program is committed to providing youth with top-notch shooting, hunting and safety skills by challenging their minds and cultivating high standards for hunting and wildlife.  YHEC strengthens values such as concentration, commitment, sportsmanship and teamwork.
For more information on the YHEC Program, visit website http://hservices.nra.org/youth-hunter-education-challenge.aspx or contact John Sturgis at 337-948-0255 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov .
*More Louisiana International YHEC Photos can been viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/yhec/sets/.


World Champion Benton Elementary Archers Honored at September Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/08/2014

World Champion Benton Elementary Archers Honored at September Commission Meeting

Sept. 8, 2014 -- The Benton Elementary School archery team that won the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) World Tournament this summer was honored during the September Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.
The Benton team, comprised of 24 fourth and fifth graders and one third grader, were invited to compete at the World Tournament in July in Madison, Wisconsin.  They were the first Louisiana team to qualify for the World Tournament and did so by finishing in eighth place at the NASP National Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky in May.
At the World Tournament, the Benton team tallied a score 66 points higher than their National Tournament score to achieve the World Champion trophy.
In order to participate at the National Tournament, teams and individuals had to qualify at the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament in March. The ALAS program is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and is available to all schools in Louisiana. The program teaches international target style archery to students in grades 4-12.
The NASP began in Kentucky back in late 2001 and has since spread to 47 states, seven Canadian provinces, South Africa, New Zealand, Mongolia and Australia. Since its inception 13 years
ago, the NASP program has positively affected the lives of over 13 million students in over 12,000 schools in the U.S. 
More than 100 Louisiana schools are enrolled in the ALAS program and more are being added each year. In the past three years, the ALAS state tournament has more than tripled in competitor numbers. 
Schools placing first at the state tournament as a team and those who shoot a qualifying team score are eligible to participate in the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.  Individuals who qualify in the top ten at state are also eligible to compete at Nationals.
For more information about the ALAS program, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/archery/archery-louisiana-schools-alas or contact Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov , or follow us on Facebook under ALAS-Archery in Louisiana Schools.
PHOTO: World Champion Benton Elementary Archers (top row - left to right) Kaitlyn Masters, Carly VanBuskirk, Brady Duncan, Aiden Gilcrease, Emma Bunch and Allison Allen; (bottom row - left to right) LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, Thomas Gamble, Dylan Hicks, Colby Leeper, Bryce Hughes, Rebekah Edmonds, Averie Halverson, Coach Perry Norcross and ALAS Coordinator Robert Stroede.  *Not shown - Lake Bradford, Josh Farris, Jazmine Young, Grant Talley, Douglas Graham, Alisha Huffman, Dasha Hollenshead, Cain Anderson and Assistant Coaches Haley Huffman, Jeff Huffman and Chip Hemphill.


Russell Sage WMA Trail Project Recognized

Release Date: 09/08/2014

Russell Sage WMA Trail Project Recognized

Sept. 8, 2014 – A recreational trail rehabilitation project at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish was one of 14 projects from across the United States that received a national award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program Funds (RTP) in 2014.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Wildlife Division utilized RTP funding of $38,286 plus an additional $12,250 from the agency’s Conservation Fund to improve the Sawyer Trail within the 22,000-acre WMA just to the east of the Monroe/West Monroe area.
Wildlife Division staff involved in the project were recognized during the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sept. 4 meeting.
Russell Sage WMA is a popular destination for approximately 30,000 users annually due to its diverse wildlife populations and habitats.  Users range from hunters and fishermen to sightseers, hikers and birdwatchers.  
The Sawyer Trail is an important recreational feature that provides over two miles of ATV and UTV access on the northern portion of the WMA. The trail passes through a bottomland hardwood forest which is representative of the forests which once covered much of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  Prior to department ownership of this property, this trail was an oilfield road that provided access to oil well locations within the property.
The department purchased the area in 1960 and the trail, through normal use, degraded over time. It was selected for renovation to improve access for WMA users. The project funding was awarded in 2011 and completed in 2013.  Improvements to the trail included:

  • Widening of the existing trail right-of-way to 50 feet, along the entire two mile length, to facilitate drying and maintenance activities.
  • Elevation of the trail to a minimum of three feet above grade, with ditches excavated on both sides to improve the quality of the trail to users and to make maintenance of trail more efficient and feasible.
  • Installation of nine culverts along the trail’s length to facilitate drainage and natural hydrologic flow through the adjacent bottomland hardwood systems.
  • Improvement of trailhead parking by adding 120 tons of limestone. 

Users now have improved access along and to the entirety of the trail and can now more easily and safely access the northern portion of the WMA.   
LDWF manages over 1.1 million acres in its Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Program.  These areas are distributed across the state and are comprised of a vast array of habitat types.  The WMA Program’s mission is to deliver conservation priorities to Louisiana’s landscape, conserving the state’s diverse wildlife resources, as well as provide an array of outdoor recreational opportunities to the public.
For more information on Russell Sage WMA or any LDWF wildlife management area, visit http://www.wlf.state.la.us/wma or contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
PHOTO: LDWF Wildlife Division staff (left to right) Steve Smith, Chuck Easterling, Tracy Farrar, Nick Freeland and Jacques Vidrine are recognized at Sept. 4 LWF Commission meeting for work done on Russell Sage WMA ATV trail.


LDWF and TPWD Plan Joint Crab Trap Cleanup in Sabine Lake

Release Date: 09/08/2014

September 8, 2014- At today’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent that targets Sabine Lake for a joint crab trap cleanup by the Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 

In order to conduct the cleanup, both the Louisiana and Texas sides of Sabine Lake will be temporarily closed to the use of crab traps so staff from both agencies and volunteers can conduct the cleanup. The Sabine Lake crab trap closure is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. February 20, 2015 through 6 a.m. March 1, 2015 and also includes portions of the Sabine River and other parts of Cameron Parish immediately east of Sabine Lake.

In the past 10 years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 24,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts.

Last year, LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant staff, volunteer organizations and individual volunteers including members of the Coastal Conservation Association and Louisiana Crab Task Force as well as volunteer students and faculty from Nicholls State University and LSU, NOAA Fisheries Service, and charterboat captains, commercial crab and shrimp fishermen contributed to the removal of over 1,000 crab traps from coastal waters in Terrebonne Parish.

Sabine Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following area beginning at 6 a.m., February 20 through 6 a.m., March 1, 2015:

From a point originating at the Louisiana/Texas state line at the mouth of the Sabine River; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River and Sabine Lake; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River to the intersection of the Sabine River and the northern shore of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW); thence eastward along the northern shore of the GIWW to 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude; thence southward along 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude to a point along the inside-outside shrimp line as defined in R.S. 56:495(A); thence westward along the inside-outside shrimp line and terminating at the Louisiana/Texas state line and mouth of the Sabine River.

For a map detailing the closure area, click here:

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within Cameron and Calcasieu parishes as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside in Texas.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Mr. Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343, or via e-mail to:  mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov prior to October 10, 2014.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at (504) 430-2623 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Amends NOI to develop Fisheries Forward Program

Release Date: 09/08/2014

September 8, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host a public hearing on October 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge to discuss the proposed rule change to the Fisheries Forward Notice of Intent.
In July, LDWF published a Notice of Intent in the Louisiana State Register to establish the Fisheries Forward program, a program that was created to elevate the professionalism in Louisiana’s seafood industry.
After thorough review and public input, LDWF has made the following substantive change to the original notice of intent:
The Department shall issue a special crab trap permit allowing the applicant to actively fish crabs under a sponsor’s crab trap gear license and report trip ticket sales of crabs using the applicant’s name and commercial fisherman’s license number. This permit shall only be issued once and shall only be valid for the duration of the sponsorship. The applicant must complete a minimum of 20 crab fishing trips evidenced by trip tickets. Any trips or landings conducted prior to the date the sponsorship is initiated shall not count toward the applicant’s total required crab fishing trips.
For more information on the Notice of Intent, contact  Jason Froeba at jfroeba@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-0121.


Louisiana Conservation Connection Now Available

Release Date: 09/04/2014

Louisiana Conservation Connection Now Available

Sept. 4, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) and the Resources First Foundation (RFF) announced today that the Louisiana Conservation Connection (LCC) is now available for landowners to use as a resource for information on land management.

“The goal with this new, web-based resource tool is easy access to information that any landowner or land manager can use to improve their property for whatever their need might be,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

Appearing before the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their monthly meeting, RFF President Amos Eno highlighted the partners and vast selection of sources that private landowners can contact for assistance in making sound decisions when managing for wildlife habitat, agricultural or forestry concerns.

“The conservation market in the 21st century is increasingly focused on the private sector and on the actions of individual private land owners,” said Eno. “The Louisiana Conservation Connection is RFF's 6th statewide conservation center and hosts 4,000 information resources. We are pleased to help position Louisiana in the fore front of our nations' private sector conservation leadership.”

The LCC information resource was created by RFF and built with grants from the Walton Family Foundation and LWFF. The web site -- http://www.stateconservation.org/louisiana  -- addresses the conservation needs of Louisiana’s private landowners.

“The LWFF Board of Directors were impressed by the previous work done by RFF and are proud to have provided grant funds for the development of the Louisiana Conservation Connection,” said Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director. “We believe that the web site will be a valuable tool for all Louisiana landowners to become better stewards of their property and the wildlife resources that depend on it.”

The web site provides information on conservation, family farms, forestry, federal and state conservation programs, invasive and native species, natural heritage tourism and outdoor recreation, tax and estate planning services and water and wildlife resources. Landowners can find information on their local service providers such as foresters, biologists, equipment suppliers, veterinarians, and tax consultants. Site users will find new ideas for boosting their income and innovative tools for a broad range of ranch, farm and forest best management practices and tax and estate legal advisory services.

RFF is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000 to provide conservation education tools and solutions to promote conservation and restoration activities for fish, wildlife and other natural resources primarily on privately owned lands across the United States.

RFF’s websites are designed for the whole conservation community including: private owners, professional staff (foresters, biologists, lawyers, appraisers, etc.), and conservation service providers. With all of RFF’s projects, the goal is to connect people to conservation by leveling the playing field, providing free access to critical conservation information, tools, and services.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF. To learn more about the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, visit http://lawff.org .

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov  or Amos Eno at 207-221-2753 or aeno@resourcesfirstfoundation.org .

Photo caption: (left to right) Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director; LDWF Secretary Robert Barham; and RFF President Amos Eno at the Sept. 4 LWF Commission meeting following announcement of the Louisiana Conservation Connection, a new web resource for landowners.


L.D.W.F. Providing Public Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Land Leases on Sept. 6 Opening Day

Release Date: 09/03/2014

Sept. 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will provide public dove hunting opportunities for the Sept. 6 season opening on leased private land in three parishes.
The 2014-15 dove season opens Saturday, Sept. 6 in the north and south zones and hunters have multiple options available. LDWF has leased private land in the following parishes for Sept. 6 only, from noon to sunset:
Beauregard Parish, DeRidder-500 acres harvested corn and milo:  Directions -- Take Hwy. 190 West from DeRidder.  The field is approximately 5 miles West of DeRidder on the North side of Hwy. 190, just past Hwy. 3226.  Check-in area will be near the storage tanks.  Contact Kori Legleu at 337-491-2575, extension 3021, for more information.  Maps will be available at LDWF’s Lake Charles field office, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA  70601.
Grant Parish, 120 acres of harvested milo:  Directions -- Take Hwy. 8 north approximately 2.3 miles from I-49 and turn east (right) on dirt road. Check-in area will be 0.3 miles from highway. Park on shoulder of road between highway and check-in area. ATVs and UTVs are not allowed. Contact David Hayden at LDWF’s Pineville field office at 318-487-5885 for more information.  Maps will also be available at the Pineville field office, 1995 Shreveport Hwy., Pineville, LA 71360.
Tangipahoa Parish, Wilmer - 152 acres prepared native grass pasture:  Directions -- Take Route 10 to Wilmer then Hwy. 1061 North to Olon Bankston Road.  Check-in area will be on Olon Bankston Road.  Contact Jimmy Ernst at 985-543-4784 for more information.  Maps will be available at LDWF’s Hammond field office, 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr., Hammond LA 70403.
The following rules will apply to all leased fields:
1.  Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
2.  Shot larger than size 7 ½ is prohibited (size 7 ½ , 8, 9 are allowed)
3.  All trash - including shell hulls - must be picked-up.
4.  Only legal doves may be taken.
5.  All hunters must have a daily permit as well as appropriate hunting license with HIP certification; note, hunters under 16 years of age do not need HIP certification.  The daily permit is available at the field and will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.  HIP certifications are available from hunting license vendors.  If hunters have formed a line prior to the time permits are issued, permits will then be issued to those in line in order of arrival.
6.  There is a $10 fee per hunter, 16 years of age and older. Cash or check. Hunters under 16 will be admitted free, but they must check-in and have a permit.
7.  When a predetermined number of hunters are admitted, the field will be closed.  Additional hunters may be admitted when someone leaves the field and surrenders his/her permit.  Use of vehicles, including ATV’s, may be restricted and will vary from field to field.  Check with Department personnel about restrictions when you check-in.
8.  These leased fields are open to the public Sept. 6 only.  Entrance at any other time is trespassing.
These leased fields have been made available through the cooperation of the landowners.  Future access to these fields and other private property is dependent on the conduct of the hunters using these fields.
For additional public dove hunting opportunities on state wildlife management areas, go to the LDWF web list posted at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove .
Shooting hours: The shooting hours during dove season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset except for opening day of the first split on WMAs and LDWF leased fields where shooting hours will be 12 p.m. (noon) to sunset.  However, the shooting hours for dove on the Point Farm Unit at Pointe Aux Chenes WMA in Terrebonne Parish will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset since all dove hunting hours for all dates within all splits end at noon on Pointe Aux Chenes WMA.
All licensed hunters are reminded that the appropriate Louisiana hunting license with HIP certification is required to hunt doves on public and private land.  Those hunters who are ages 18 to 59 are also required to have a WMA Hunting Permit when hunting doves on WMAs.
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .



Release Date: 09/03/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 4, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:           

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of August 7, 2014

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports August  2014

5.  Louisiana Conservation Connection Web Source Presentation

6.  Recreational Trails Program Award for Russell Sage WMA ATV Trail Project

7.  National Archery in the Schools Program World Champions, Benton Elementary School Recognition Presentation

8.  To Recognize the Youth Hunter Education Challenge Champions 

9.  To Hear an Update on Red Snapper and LaCreel Survey 

10.  To Hear and Consider a Notice to Amend the Fisheries Forward NOI

11.  To Hear and Consider a Notice of Intent for the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program

12.  To Hear an Update on the False River Restoration Project 

13.  Set January 2015 Meeting Date

14. Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

Please register for September 2014 LWF Commission Meeting on Sep 4, 2014 9:30 AM CDT at: 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.



Marrero Man Sentenced for Illegal Fish Sales in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/29/2014

A Marrero man pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to commercial fishing violations committed in Plaquemines Parish.

Joseph Morris III, 30, pleaded guilty to selling fish without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, selling game fish illegally, selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, taking/selling undersized spotted sea trout, possessing commercial red drum illegally and failing to comply with charter boat regulations.

Morris was ordered to pay a $2,250 fine plus court costs, serve 120 days in parish prison suspended, and have all commercial and recreational fishing privileges seized and revoked for a period of two years.  Continued litigation is pending in Jefferson Parish for additional alleged violations.

He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.  Jerry Lobrano for the 25th Judicial District prosecuted the case.

Agents arrested Morris on Jan. 24, 2014 for numerous commercial fishing violations after agents secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish when Morris sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.

LDWF Special Investigations and Sgt. Adam Young participated in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Host Sept. 2 Public Hearing on Proposed Amendment to the Rules and Regulations for Potentially Dangerous Quadrupeds, Big Exotic Cats and Non-Human Primates

Release Date: 08/28/2014

August 28, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to accept public comment on proposed amendments the rules and regulations for potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats and non-human primates. The hearing will be held in the Louisiana Room at LDWF’s headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The proposed amendments were presented to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at their July 3 meeting and the Commission adopted a notice of intent that provides public comment on the amendments through Aug. 30. However, additional oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing.
The amendments, as proposed by LDWF, clarify some of the terms used in the regulations, modify some permit requirements, and remove some redundant language.
Specifically, the amendment defines “zoo” for the purposes of obtaining a permit under the regulations.  However, an entity that does not meet the definition of “zoo” as stated in the amendment may still qualify for a permit as long as the application has been received by July 1, 2014.
For the possession of non-human primates, the amendment removes an exemption to grant permits for “helper monkeys,” or trained primates kept by a disabled person to assist in daily tasks.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been amended so that only trained dogs qualify as service animals, and this change to Louisiana’s regulations will more closely reflect the federal statutes.
In order to renew their permits, owners of non-human primates will be required to complete the same type of paperwork that owners of large cats complete – including a hold harmless agreement, a financial responsibility statement, and a consent to inspection of the primate and its enclosure.
Finally, the amended rules would authorize LDWF to set a limit on the “grandfather” date, and the owner of any previously unpermitted primate that qualifies for a permit would be required to submit an application prior to June 30, 2015 in order for it to be considered.
To view the full July 3 notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Melissa Collins, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or mcollins@wlf.la.gov  until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2014.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, contact Melissa Collins at 225-765-8584 or mcollins@wlf.la.gov .

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