LPB is showing "In The Blind" about traditions of waterfowl hunting in Louisiana. Thurs. Sept. 3 at 7pm
Paul Whitehead: President Elizabeth Miller-Floyd: Vice President
Marty Floyd: Secretary
LPB is showing "In The Blind" about traditions of waterfowl hunting in Louisiana. Thurs. Sept. 3 at 7pm
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Catahoula Lake case partly reversed by the Supreme Court; State relieved of hefty judgment, but concerns remain
By Juliette Fairley | Apr 7, 2020
The Louisiana Supreme Court partly upheld a court’s decision to assign new ownership and rename what had been designated a lake since 1812, leaving advocates confused as to the body of water’s purpose.
What was known as Catahoula Lake is now a permanent river that seasonally overflowed and covered its banks, according to the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Jan. 29, 2020 decision.
"The question now is what is the public’s right to have it managed in a way that benefits wildlife and fish," said Rebecca Triche, executive director of the Lousiana Wildlife Federation.
Catahoula Lake was redefined as a result of a lawsuit that Steve and Era Lee Crooks filed against the state of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
“It’s crazy that this body of water could become private land after 208 years of being public property managed by the state and federal governments,” said Richard Keim, professor of forest hydrology at LSU who was deposed by the Crooks who are private landowners living next to the lake. “It’s been a special hunting district, an important duck habitat and even has its own hunting laws.”
Based on the trial court findings, the plaintiffs were divided into two segments. The Lake Plaintiffs and the Swamp Plaintiffs as owners of the overflow lands, according to a press release.
“A review of the petition, and of the evidence adduced without objection, reveals that the operative facts which give rise to this litigation are that the State granted mineral leases on plaintiffs’ lands, and received mineral royalties from those leases,” wrote Justice Michael E. Kirby who authored the decision. “Accepting these facts as true, the plaintiffs have asserted a cause of action against the State for mineral royalties.”
As previously reported, Attorney General Jeff Landry touted the Louisiana Supreme Court decision as a victory for taxpayers because the state no longer is liable for a nearly $95 million judgment.
"When the district court rendered its original decision on May 15, including judicial interest, the State owed $94,622,490.10," said Ryan Seidemann, assistant attorney general in the Civil Division. "We took over the case on appeal at the Third Circuit, which rendered its decision on Dec. 18, 2018. At that point, with judicial interest, the State owed $68,026,623.02."
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But after the Supreme Court’s rendering of judgment on January 29, including judicial interest, the state only owes $8,794,449.46.
"In total, from the loss at the district court to now, our attorneys have saved the State $85,828,040.64," Seidemann told the Louisiana Record. "Keep in mind that this matter is still pending rehearing before the Supreme Court on most, if not all, of the outstanding amounts as well as questions of property law and we have not yet ruled out further appeals."
Critics remain unconvinced that the Supreme Court opinion is a victory.
“We are glad to see that the state isn't required to come up with all this money but there are remaining decisions that need to be made about boundaries and ownership,” Triche told the Louisiana Record in an interview.
Until now, the water entity in question had been managed as publicly owned but the Supreme Court’s ruling changed a portion of it to privately managed.
LWF, Delta Waterfowl (Delta), and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) had filed an amicus brief to support the State of Louisiana, stating concerns about what will happen to the management of Catahoula Lake and the public’s natural resources if the lower court decision was upheld and Catahoula Lake declared privately owned.
“I don’t know how the state can manage on behalf of the public without determining the boundaries,” said Triche in a phone interview. "If this is not a lake, as thought to be since the 1800s, then the public needs guidance and direction so that we can move forward with management principals.”
However, a comprehensive water management plan for Louisiana has not yet been adopted although the state has spent some $5.3 million on a dozen water resource and management studies, according to media reports.
“That’s why you need a water management plan, a water code and a water manager so that you can show a judge exactly how a body of water is being managed,” said Gina Brown, an audit manager with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.
The Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy is creating a statewide water code after having received a grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, according to a press release.
“The courts are not going to create a water management plan for Louisiana and the future. That's for the state to do,” Brown told the Louisiana Record.
But unless the state acts upon legislation that has yet to be introduced, the court of appeal judgment is partly reversed.
“In part, insofar as it upheld the award of $28,745,438.40, and the interest thereon, to the Lake Plaintiffs, and the award of $9,550,800.00, and the interest thereon, to the Swamp Plaintiffs, the owners of the overflow lands for compensation for the inverse condemnation of their lands by the State,” the Supreme Court ruled. “In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed. REVERSED IN PART; AFFIRMED IN PART.”
This isn't the Crooks' first lawsuit. In 2012, they sued Sanchez Oil & Gas Corp et al, alleging contamination of their land as a result of wrongful acts and omissions on the part of the defendants.
"The contamination of plaintiff's property was caused or contributed to by the wrongful installation, construction, maintenance, and operation of pipelines and tank batteries located on the property," states the Crooks' petition for damages filed in the Louisiana Western District Court.
That same year, the Crooks also sued Louisiana Pacific Corp in the Louisiana Western District Court, alleging their land had been contaminated due to the wrongful acts or omissions which occurred during exploration for and production of various minerals by the defendant or third parties who operated on behalf of the defendant.
Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Migration Map
Follow the ducks this season using the most comprehensive waterfowl migration map on the web. Read real-time reports from DU biologists, field editors, expert waterfowlers and more.
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"I waited and got a good sight on it," Bertha Vickers said. "I fired five times and it snapped five times."
CDC warns hunters of tuberculosis transmitted by deer
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Download the Official Ducks Unlimited App today!
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Public Land Ethics
Follow these 10 rules to make waterfowling on public hunting areas a more enjoyable experience
Don't forget to visit our booth at the National Hunting and Fishing Day at Woodworth on the 28th.
Heard that the La. Supreme Court will hear the Steve Cross and Ezra Lee Cross vs. LDNR (Catahoula Lake) on Wed., Sep 4th at 2pm
Socia Branch Trail - part of the 66-mile Breezy Hill Trail system in the Catahoula Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest
The Rapides Wildlife Association (RWA) again is providing comments on this propose motorized trail in Grant Parish. RWA wrote a letter on 22 January 2015, and again on 10 April 2017. Our concerns still exist.
We understand that Kistatchie National Forest (KNF) has over 325 miles of trail of which more than 180 miles are for motorized use. Within the Catahoula Ranger District (CRD) with 37 miles of trail, only 2 are non-motorized. In our opinion this provides more than adequate usage of the public’s interest.
A major problem is that the trails are currently in great disrepair and need maintenance. Motorized tails until hiking cause massive erosion and therefore would greatly increase maintenance funding needs.
It would be more appropriate to place motorized trails in less pristine areas such as the Livingston trail complex (that was earlier proposed) or on Camp Claiborne where impacts would be of lesser concern.
Both the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) and the Louisiana Pine Snake (LPS) ecosystem restoration are with the proposed Socia Trail loop. Motorized dirt bikes may not be compatible with these restoration efforts.
A more suitable use of the funds that would be needed for the proposed trail would be in the establishment of a shooting range Grant Parish.
Note also that the Revised Land and Resource Management Plan lists Breezy Hill hiking, biking, horse trail as a medium priority, as is also the proposed campground. Are those listed as top and high priorities in Catahoula Ranger District already completed?
There are two scoping letters from the Catahoula Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest that RWA has opinions on.
1) Louisiana Pine Snake Reintroduction Project. RWA is in support f this and an Environmental Assessment (EA) is expected on this. Anyone wishing a copy of the scoping letter can contact me at [email protected]
2) A proposal to construct a single-track, multi-directional motorized trail on Catahoula Ranger District on the Socia Branch of the previously proposed 66-mile Breezy Hill Trail. RWA opposes this (as we have on the twice proposed Breezy Hill Trail). The use of motorcycles (dirt bikes) in a prime hunting area is not in the best interest of the resource. A copy of our comments to the scoping letter is available by contacting me at [email protected].
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If we could travel back in time and check the travel packs for just about every Native American or early western explorer, we would most likely find a pemmican mixture of some sort. What is pemmican and what made it so popular? Pemmican is just about the perfect food. A...
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RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover Branch
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Researchers set out to test whether bees could do math, building on a groundbreaking finding that bees understand the concept of zero. The new study shows bees can be taught to recognize colors as symbolic representations for addition and subtraction, and use this information to solve arithmetic pro...
New comic about
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LDWF stocks over 8 million fish across Louisiana in 2018
In 2018, the Inland Fisheries Hatchery Program stocked over 8 million fish into 59 waterbodies around the state.
In case you're interested...
NOAA Fisheries has proposed a new rule that would modify reporting requirements for owners or operators of vessels with a federal Gulf charter/headboat reef fish permit or Gulf charter/headboat coastal migratory pelagics permit. These proposed changes would require the owner or operator of a vessel....
Becoming an Outdoors Woman | Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
The "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" program was started in 1991 by Doctor Christine L. Thomas, Professor of Resource Management, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. The program focuses on providing opportunities for women to learn skills that enhance and encourage participation in hunting, fishing....
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
The LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomed 12 New Agents at Graduation this Morning.
Camouflage level - expert 🦌😂
Sławomir Skukowski Photography
As hunting declines, efforts grow to broaden the funding base for wildlife conservation
Much of the money for wildlife conservation in the United States comes from taxes and fees paid by sportsmen. But as fewer Americans take up hunting, wildlife managers need other funding sources.
Rare duck turning up in Louisiana hunters’ November bags - Louisiana Sportsman
Black scoters are sea ducks more common the East and West coasts of the U.S., but several of the birds have already been shot this season by Louisiana hunters. [...]
Rapides Wildlife Association booth at National Hunting and Fishing Day at LDWF Education Facility in Woodworth. Eager youngsters made peanut butter pine cone birdfeeders. September 22, 2018.
Rapides Wildlife Federation donates money to New Leadership Program!
Louisiana Wildlife Federation officially initiated the Edgar Veillon Conservation Leadership Corps in March 2018. The program seeks to train and inspire the next generation of conservation advocates, leaders, and scholars in Louisiana. The donation was presented to LWF in March 2018 by members Dr. Paul Whitehead, Marty Floyd, Elizabeth Miller-Floyd and Dr. Jay Huner.
Today, in 1972, the NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration & U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission - Landsat - began 45 years of Earth science observations & returning stunningly beautiful images of our home planet.
This video shows footage of the launch of the first Landsat satellite, on July 23, 1972, and a time lapse of the changing coastal wetlands in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana.
CenLa Master Naturalist
The late Dr. John Moser, one of RWA members, obtained his BS, MS and PhD from Ohio State and Cornell Universities. He left monetary legacies to his alma maters. We are glad to see his endowment lives on...
Corrie Moreau is reshaping our view of insect evolution—and confronting gender discrimination in the process.
🦋 ANNOUNCEMENT 🦋
The Alexandria Butterfly Count will be held this Sunday, July 29, 2018.
We will meet at Harold Miles Park off Hwy 1 near Boyce at 9:30am. For more info contact Marty Floyd at 337-459-0445.
Please help by taking a short survey concerning Louisiana Recreational Trails! Thank you!
Recreation Trails – Please take a moment to fill out this survey, it is important to guide trail priorities in Louisiana. “The purpose of this survey, conducted by the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute on behalf of the Louisiana Recreational Trails Program (RTP) (a grant program administered by the State of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, Office of State Parks) is to better understand how Louisiana residents use trail facilities throughout the state, and what trail users would like to see prioritized over the next ten years.”
So thrilled & happy for my husband, Marty Floyd! He travelled to The Hill in DC to represent National Wildlife Federation and Veterans on important issues!
July 11, 2018.
“Service from one field to another: Marty Floyd joins veterans on the Hill today asking congress to stop attacks on wildlife and START getting to work for our men and women in uniform. #StillServing #DefenseBill @SenJohnKennedy @BillCassidy @SteveScalise”
2044 Bayou Rd
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