AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council on Monday took a step toward rebuilding a boat launch at Lee’s Landing on the Tangipahoa River when it unanimously approved a resolution calling on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to appropriate funds for the launch’s restoration.
The resolution states that the parish government is asking for an appropriation of $294,000 for the landing’s rehabilitation. The parish will contribute $73,000 toward the project if Wildlife and Fisheries provides the bulk of the costs for the launch.
The historic landing, which attracts hundreds of users on weekends, has long been a major entryway to the Tangipahoa River and ultimately to Lake Pontchartrain. Over the years, however, the landing has fallen into disrepair.
Councilman Harry Lavine, who represents the district where Lee’s Landing is located, said improving the boat launch is long overdue and that the many outdoors enthusiasts who use the landing have asked that it be restored. Only one other boat launch, a commercial landing on Bedico Creek, offers access to the Tangipahoa River. Dozens of camps line Bedico Creek and the lower end of the Tangipahoa River, and camp owners depend on the two landings for access to their camps.
Lee’s Landing is familiar to a nationwide audience of the History Channel’s television series “Ax Men.” Shelby Stanga, one of the stars of the show, has his headquarters at Lee’s Landing. Stanga, a logger who has made a career of reclaiming “sinker logs,” timber that has sunk below the surface of a river or stream, starred in his own show “Shelby Stanga: The Swamp Man,” which debuted in September.
The Parish Council is asking that funding for the launch be awarded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program administered by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The parish is asking that improvements at the site include not only new boat launches but dockside improvements and adequate parking facilities.
In other business, the council presented a resolution to the 205th Engineer Battalion of Louisiana Army National Guard for the unit’s service in the Middle East. About two dozen members of the battalion, all residents of Tangipahoa Parish, were in attendance at the meeting to receive the citation.
The battalion recently returned to Louisiana after serving in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Earlier, the battalion served in Afghanistan.