Release Date: 02/15/2007

Who: U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander (Dist. 5)
Bryant O. Hammett, Jr., Secretary, La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)
Collette Anzalone, President, La. Association of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils
Don Gohmert, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

What:   A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by three conservation agencies giving landowners the opportunity to use several no-till grassland drills to restore and create wildlife habitat.  LDWF will be providing the grassland drills and the State
Association of RC&D Councils has agreed to rent the drills to landowners across the state.  NRCS will provide on-farm technical assistance with drill operation and planning seed mixtures and establishment techniques associated with the work.

When:   The memorandum will be signed on Monday, Feb. 19, 2007 - 12:30 p.m.

Where:   The Ashland Room, Hilton in Lafayette - 1521 West Pinhook.

Background ----------------------------------------------------------

Grassland habitat deterioration is one of the leading causes for the decline of several once common species of wildlife including bobwhite quail and Eastern meadowlarks.  Restoration of grassland habitat is key to efforts to restore populations of grassland dependent wildlife.  Significant grassland habitat loss has occurred across Louisiana, particularly in the coastal prairie and longleaf pine ecosystems.  Restoration of grassland systems is limited by a lack of the specialized equipment needed to plant native grasses and wildflowers.

This partnership will allow the combination of technical assistance and specialized equipment to reach the landowners making available the tools needed to create and restore this needed wildlife habitat.

Funding for the project was provided by the LDWF (Wildlife and Natural Heritage Trust), the La. Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Northwest La. Chapter of Quail Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (State Wildlife Grants Program).

For more information, contact: Fred Kimmel, LDWF, ph. 225-765-2355 or Scott Edwards, Acadiana RC&D Coordinator, ph. 337-896-0362, ext. 3.