Release Date: 05/01/2007

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) Natural Heritage Program has announced that new facts sheets on rare and endangered species are now available on the LDWF Web site.

The new Natural Heritage Program web file can be accessed at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/experience/naturalheritage/g1andg2elements . The information was provided at the request of the Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA) to offer a central information source for LFA members and the general public on rare and endangered wildlife. LFA members utilize the data as part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard.

The LFA, the largest forest landowner association in the state, is the sponsoring organization for the SFI program that involves all the major forest product companies in the state.

This recognized certification system involves a set of principles, objectives and performance measures developed by professional foresters, conservationists and scientists to assure the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality.

A large part of the SFI standard is the protection of endangered species and communities ranked as G1 and G2 species and communities by NatureServe, with G1 being the most endangered and G5 the most stable.

The fact sheets generally include a species description, G1 or G2 species or community designation, threats to survival, beneficial management practices, pictures and region where the species is found within the state.

"Our partnership with LFA has helped us develop concise fact sheets that will provide educational material to the public and assist in the conservation of rare, threatened, and endangered species and natural communities in Louisiana," said Gary Lester, LDWF Natural Heritage Program Coordinator.  "These fact sheets provide LFA members information they can use to acquire a SFI Standard certification and certification is important to ensure that endangered species and communities are here for future generations."

LFA Executive Director Buck Vandersteen said, "The LFA is committed to the practice of sustainable forestry and thus the environment, and our members have a responsibility to manage forests in a way that will provide our grandchildren a place to hunt, fish, camp and experience wildlife."

The LFA is a statewide, private, nonprofit association of more than 3,500 members including landowners, employees of forest products industries, wood suppliers, loggers and related industries.  LFA's mission is to promote the health and productivity of Louisiana's forests for present and future generations through the practice of sustainable forestry.

For more information on LFA, please visit www.laforestry.com.

For more information, contact Gary Lester at 225-765-2823 or glester@wlf.louisiana.gov and Janet Tompkins at 319-443-2558 or jtompkins@laforestry.com.