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On September 19, State Representative Lelon Kenney and Michael Thompson of the Bayou DeChene Reservoir Commission presented Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary James Jenkins Jr. with a check in the amount of $793,100. The money was to fulfill a mitigation requirement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to offset unavoidable wetland losses. An agreement reached between the commission and the department allowed for the restoration of department property. This was an unprecedented arrangement involving the development of state lands.
The Bayou DeChene Reservoir Commission is in the process of developing a reservoir near Columbia in north Louisiana. The project is modeled after the popular Poverty Point Reservoir near Delhi. During the planning of the project, it was determined that there would be unavoidable wetland loss. To mitigate this loss, the commission entered into an agreement with the department to help restore bottomland hardwood habitat in the state-owned Red River Wildlife Management Area in Concordia Parish. At a ratio of over five acres restored for each acre lost, 721 acres will be restored in the WMA.

LDWF is very excited about this arrangement. LDWF Program Manager Randy Myers, said "This situation is unique in that it benefits the public in two ways. They get to enjoy the new reservoir facility and we now have the capability to restore precious habitat on our WMA for their enjoyment as well. We hope that this agreement will be looked to as a model for future mitigations."

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225/765-2351




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