In the age of one-stop shopping, a plan unveiled during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will provide landowners with a one-stop spot to help them manage their lands for wildlife and to solve other ownership problems.
Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham introduced the new program, the Louisiana Conservation Connection, a combined effort of the LDWF, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Resources First Foundation.
Veteran conservationist and sportsman Amos Eno, RFF president, told the commission that LCC combined the resources of state and federal agencies, private companies, even legal help when it comes to making decision on best-use practices in a combination of wildlife, agricultural and timber management on private lands.
“You can think of this website as a yellow pages for landowners,” Eno said. “The conservation market in the 21st century is increasingly focused on the private sector, and on the actions of individual private land owners. The Louisiana Conservation Connection is RFF’s sixth statewide conservation center and hosts 4,000 information resources. We are pleased to help position Louisiana in the forefront of our nations’ private sector conservation leadership.”
The LCC website, www.stateconservation.org/louisiana, is funded by grants from the LWFF and through RFF’s partnership with the Walton Family Foundation.
In addition to the information resources, made up mostly of governmental agencies, wildlife associations and conservation groups, Eno said the site also lists as many as 35,000 for-profit businesses “everything from foresters to clean-energy providers to veterinarians, land managers, attorneys, seed companies and farm resources.”
Eno said RFF studies show the average age of farmers in the country is 50 years old, and it’s 71 years for owners of forested lands. He said that’s why tax attorneys were added to the LCC list.
“We want to assist families with these lands in generational transfer. It’s important for families to retain ownership,” Eno said.
The announcement stated that RFF is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. It was founded in 2000 “to provide conservation education tools and solutions to promote conservation and restoration activities for fish, wildlife and other natural resources primarily on privately owned lands across the United States.”
“The LWFF Board of Directors were impressed by the previous work done by RFF and are proud to have provided grant funds for the development of the Louisiana Conservation Connection,” LWFF executive director Kell McInnis said.“We believe the website will be a valuable tool for Louisiana landowners to become better stewards of their property and the wildlife resources that depend on it.”