General

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St. Martin Parish Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 02/22/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited a Coteau Holmes man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 13.

Agents cited Randy J. Bourque, 42, for hunting under hunting license revocation, hunting on a Louisiana State Park, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, failing to possess deer tags and failing to follow deer tagging requirements.

On Jan. 5, agents learned about the illegal taking of a deer from Bourque’s social media page.  During the investigation, agents discovered that Bourque illegally killed a 12-point buck on the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park on Jan. 1.  Bourque was hunting without any current hunting licenses or deer tags due to being under revocation.

Agents seized the 12-point rack and cape.

Hunting deer under hunting license revocation, failing to possess deer tags, and failing to follow deer tagging requirements each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting deer on a Louisiana State Park carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic season and big game hunting licenses each carries a fine up to $50 and 30 days in jail.

Bourque could also face civil restitution totaling $2033.29 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

LDWF Investigation Indicates Dead Pelicans Succumbed to Natural, Accidental Causes

Release Date: 02/21/2019

Several dead pelicans discovered recently in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes died from natural and accidental causes, according to an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LDWF’s Enforcement Division launched an investigation Feb. 19 when it was notified of several dead pelicans in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. One of the pelicans was found stuck to a water level gauge. Agents retrieved that pelican and another dead pelican in the surrounding area then brought them to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge for necropsies, the equivalent of autopsies performed on humans.

The necropsies found no illegal activity associated with the pelican deaths.

The pelican found hanging from the water level gauge in the Caernarvon Diversion area in Plaquemines Parish accidentally hooked its pouch on a protruding screw. The pelican then broke its neck trying to free itself from the screw, according to the LDWF veterinarian

The other pelican, found floating in shallow water, died from severe parasitism and emaciation.

During winter, mortality rates in juvenile brown pelicans can be high. Young pelicans are not as good at fishing as mature pelicans and have higher rates of parasites. Young pelicans also have little to no fat reserves for the colder months and can die from hypothermia and malnutrition.

Due to these naturally occurring events, the LDWF Enforcement Division is closing the investigation pending further evidence that would indicate the birds were illegally killed.

$7,500 Reward Offered for Information on Shooting of Endangered Whooping Crane in Acadia Parish

Release Date: 02/21/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are looking for leads regarding an endangered whooping crane that was shot in Acadia Parish.

The crane was found with a wounded wing on Nov. 2, 2018 between Crowley and Rayne off of Monceaux Rd.  The crane was taken to a vet where it had to be put down due to its injuries.  The crane was then sent in for a necropsy where it was determined to have been shot in the wing.

Up to $7,500 is being offered by various groups for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal shooting of this whooping crane.  LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and Whooping Crane Conservation Association are each offering a reward of up to $1,000.  LDWF also received a total of $4,500 from private donations.

Anyone with information regarding the illegal shooting should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, residents can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” app.  The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day.  Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

LDWF with support from partners has released 147 whooping cranes since 2011 to reintroduce the birds to the state.  The population is currently estimated to be 76 whooping cranes.  This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.  The crane in this case was released in December of 2016.

Whooping cranes are the most endangered of the world’s crane species.  The Louisiana flock is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Reminder, LEEC Grant Applications due by Friday, February 22

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will continue to accept proposals for its 2019-2020 grant cycle until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019. Don't miss this great opportunity to fund classroom or schoolwide environmental education projects, professional development,  or academic research. Formal and non-formal educators and university students throughout the state may apply for a grant in one of four categories: 

Educator Grants - Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact Louisiana students - Those eligible: Accredited K-12 Louisiana schools - Maximum award: $1,000 for 1 teacher or $2,000 for a team —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-educator-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-educator-grant-guidelines-0 

 

Green Schools Grants - Supports projects designed to reduce a school’s environmental impact, reduce health disparities that can aggravate achievement gaps, and engage students in hands-on learning. Proposals to be considered are those that align with pillars found in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/green-schools-pillars-and-elements - Those eligible: Accredited K-12 Louisiana schools - Maximum award: $5,000 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leecldoe-green-schools-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leecldoe-green-schools-grant-guidelines

 

Professional Development Grants - Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact preservice and/or in-service educators in Louisiana - Those eligible: Louisiana education, state, or environmental agencies, colleges, universities, or 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations - Maximum award: $2,500 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-professional-development-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-professional-development-grant-guidelines

 

University Research Grants - Post-graduate research with a focus on environmental issues - Those eligible: Students attending Louisiana colleges or universities and who are working toward a Masters, Ph.D., or conducting Ph.D. research are eligible to apply on behalf of their school - Maximum award: $1,200 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-university-research-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-university-research-grant-guidelines

 

For questions regarding the grant application process, please contact Venise Ortego at vortego@wlf.la.gov.

For questions regarding the online application form, please contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov

Avoyelles Night Hunting Investigation Leads to Multiple Violations and Arrest

Release Date: 02/14/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged hunting violations in Avoyelles Parish in January and February of 2019.

Agents cited James A. Bacon, 53, Bruce Norman, 55, both of Marksville, and Henry Tidwell Jr., 50, of Pineville, for possession of an illegally taken deer, hunting deer during illegal hours, and hunting without basic hunting and big game hunting licenses.

Bacon was also arrested for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, taking deer with an illegal weapon, taking deer illegally from a boat, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and possession of marijuana.  Norman was also cited for taking deer illegally from a boat.  Tidwell Jr. was also cited for failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 6 that Bacon was involved in some illegal night hunting that was taking place near Slim Lemoine Road south of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish.  Agents made contact with Bacon, during a traffic stop and found him in possession of two firearms in the back seat of the truck.

On Jan. 19, agents discovered that Bacon was a convicted felon and obtained a search warrant for his residence.  During the execution of the search warrant, agents located three firearms, an ice chest of deer meat and and a bag of marijuana.  Bacon admitted to killing the deer with Norman with a .17 rifle on the Coulee des Grous Bayou that runs parallel to Slim Lemoine Road.  Agents seized the three firearms and the bag of marijuana.

Later that evening, agents made contact with Norman and he admitted to driving the boat at night and holding the spotlight while Bacon shot the deer.  Normand also informed agents that he was involved with the taking of another deer at night with Tidwell, Jr.

Agents were unable to make contact with Tidwell Jr. during this time due to numerous warrants for his arrest.  On Feb. 11, the Forest Hill Police Department informed agents that they apprehended Tidwell Jr. and booked him at Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Agents made contact with Tidwell Jr. and he admitted to shooting an antlerless deer at night with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking deer with an illegal weapon and from a boat, and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.   Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Illegally possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Possession of marijuana brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Bacon and Tidwell Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 each for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Tallulah Man Cited for Taking Six Antlered Deer this Hunting Season

Release Date: 02/07/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Tallulah man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1 in Madison Parish.

Agents cited Kenneth D. Gunter, 53, for taking over the seasonal limit of deer, taking over the daily limit of antlered deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 31 that Gunter harvested two antlered deer on the same day along the Mississippi River Levee five miles north of Tallulah.  Agents made contact with Gunter and found that he had harvested six antlered deer during the 2018-19 deer-hunting season including two antlered deer he harvested on Jan. 20.

Gunter also failed to tag any of the six antlered deer he harvested.

The seasonal limit for antlered deer is three and the daily limit of antlered deer is one for this area of the state.  Agents seized six sets of antlers including a 10-point, two 9-points, two 8-points and a five point as evidence.

Taking over the daily limit of deer and over the daily limit of deer each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Gunter may also face civil restitution totaling up to $11,382 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Authorities Recover Body of Prairieville Man After Boating Incident

Release Date: 02/07/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and U.S. Coast Guard personnel recovered the deceased body of a Prairieville man from Lena Lagoon in St. Bernard Parish this morning, Feb. 7.

The body of Freddie Dufrene, 70, was recovered around 10:15 a.m. and turned over to the St. Bernard Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

According to the survivors of the boating incident, Dufrene was an occupant in a vessel that left out of the Hopedale area to go to Lake Borgne around 6:30 a.m.

In Lena Lagoon the operator made a sharp turn to avoid running into the bank, which subsequently ejected the operator and Dufrene into the water.  Another occupant on the vessel was able to get control of the vessel and retrieve the operator from the water.

Before the survivors could get to Dufrene, he went under the water and never resurfaced.  The survivors called for help and LDWF, St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office and USCG arrived shortly thereafter to conduct a search for Dufrene.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  The men ejected from the vessel were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time of the incident.

Deer Hunting Violations Leads to Two Arrests

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four Plaquemines Parish residents for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1, 2019.  Agents also cited one subject for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and another for pubic intimidation and threatening a public official in addition to their wildlife charges.

Agents cited William J. Dillman, 41, Devin A. Bourgeios, 28, Paul R. Hammer, 48,  and Jerry J. Vicknair Jr., 30, all from Belle Chasse, for hunting deer during illegal hours and hunting from a public road.

Agents were on patrol in Plaquemines Parish at night when they observed three all-terrain vehicles (ATV) on Buccaneer Road just south of Belle Chasse bordering the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.  The agents witnessed the men actively night hunting.

Agents made contact with the men and during questioning Dillman admitted to actively hunting at night.  Dillman then began making numerous threats to the agents and he was arrested for threatening a public official and public intimidation.

Agents also arrested Hammer for a DWI after witnessing him operate an ATV on a public roadway while impaired.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle both bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Public intimidation carries up to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail.  Threatening a public official carries a up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

LEEC Short Course Spotlight: Using Mobile Devices to Track Biodiversity in the School Yard and Habitat Restoration Areas

LEEC's 2019 Regional Short Course event is Saturday, February 16. Our aim is to bring environmental education professional development to communities all around the state. Classroom teachers, non-formal educators and anyone seeking a better understanding of environmental projects in their communities have a host of choices available at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-leec-regional-short-courses for the event. Today, we're spotlighting: Using Mobile Devices to Track Biodiversity in the School Yard and Habitat Restoration Areas  (Monroe Region) Combination Workshop and Tour.
 
Ecological Restoration is a key tool conservation biologists and natural resource managers use to create new habitat for plants and animals and to restore ecosystem services to people. To understand the impact of restoration and the success of those efforts, the changes in ecological communities need to be monitored over time.  These changes can be assessed by monitoring changes in the number and type of species of plants and animals found in the restoration area over time.
 
Our workshop and tour will involve a discussion of restoration, particularly of the Shortleaf Pine ecosystem, which is endangered in Louisiana.  We will tour Wafer Creek Ranch, which is one of the only Shortleaf Pine restoration projects in the state.  Teachers will acquire skills and knowledge about restoration and wildlife through learning about multiple restoration practices and active engagement in techniques used to monitor wildlife with an emphasis on how these can be employed in classroom activities. 
 
In particular, this workshop will emphasize biodiversity monitoring through iNaturalist, which  is a free citizen science app and web-based platform compatible with smart phones, tablets and computers. Through iNaturalist, users can take pictures of organisms and upload them to an online database to document plant and animal locations.  Organism identification occurs with the help of other iNaturalist users, and scientists worldwide can use the data collected. The techniques learned could be easily implemented to examine school-yard plants and animals.  Teachers will also leave the workshop with the tools and practice to incorporate an anchoring phenomena routine in line with science practices and the new Louisiana environmental and earth science standards.  
 
Photos: Carson Taylor Hall at Louisiana Tech University and shortleaf pine resortation.
 
Presenters: Julia Earl, Chris Campbell, Terri Maness and Natalie Clay, Louisiana Tech University 
Location: Carson Taylor Hall, Louisiana Tech University, 1 Adams Blvd, ​Ruston, LA 71272
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th, College
Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm
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