Friday, May 17 2013 9:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:05:04 GMT
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local governmentMore >>
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five-parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local government and the political scene.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:55:58 GMT
An arrest has been made in the 1962 death of Mary Horton Vail. Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962, her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident. TheMore >>
Mary Horton Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962. Her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:17 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:17:04 GMT
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case. On May 17, 2005, 28-year-old Loretta Chaisson Lewis went missing. Three days later, her body was found floatingMore >>
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:47:38 GMT
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18,More >>
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:44 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:44:31 GMT
In an area prone to hurricanes, flood insurance is important for Louisiana residents. Calcasieu Parish became a part of the National Flood Insurance program in 1978. By participating in the program,More >>
As a way to continue offering flood insurance, Congress passed the Biggert Waters Act in 2012. More >>
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The following is a Press Release from the U.S. Department of the Interior:
Secretary of the Interior Ken
Salazar and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe announced
that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved more than $1.3
million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to protect an estimated 1,368
acres of waterfowl habitat on three units of the National Wildlife Refuge
The commission also approved more
than $25 million in federal grants through the North American Wetlands
Conservation Act (NAWCA) to support public-private partnership activities that
will conserve more than 144,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in
the United States and Canada.
"With these acquisitions and
grants, we are strengthening our wetlands protection though the National
Wildlife Refuge System and in other key waterfowl and wildlife habitat
throughout North America," Salazar said. "Thanks to the contributions of
hunters and others who purchase Duck Stamps, our National Wildlife Refuge
System continues to the best in the world and keeps important habitat ‘open for
business' for our nation's wildlife."
"Wetlands are vital landscapes
for our nation's birds and other wildlife who rest, feed and breed there
throughout the year," said Ashe. "In addition to benefiting wildlife, wetlands
provide countless benefits to people, including water quality maintenance,
erosion control, flood protection, and recreational opportunities for public
and private landowners."
The commission approved the
protection of wetland habitat through land acquisition and purchase of
easements on three units of the National Wildlife Refuge System as breeding,
resting and feeding habitat, as well as the disposal of 35 acres of easement.
These acquisitions and approvals
to continue to lease wetland habitat parcels are funded with proceeds from
sales of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, otherwise known as
the Federal Duck Stamp. They include:
Trinity River National
Wildlife Refuge, Texas -- 88 acres in fee; $88,200. This proposed addition is largely bottomland
hardwood forest, most of which lies in the oxbow of the Trinity River. Wood
ducks, mallards, gadwall, American wigeons, green- and blue-winged teal, and
mottled ducks all use the wetlands.
Panther Swamp National
Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi -- 640-acre School Board lease; 5-year lease at $19,200 per year. This
Refuge contains both seasonally flooded and permanent wetlands, including
bottomland hardwoods as well as cypress-tupelo swamps. This is excellent
habitat for a variety of waterfowl.
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana --
640-acre School Board lease; 5-year lease at $25,600 per year. The leased area
lies within the Lacassine
Pool area; large numbers of waterfowl use the area to feed and rest. The refuge
is working with the Cameron Parish School Board to work out an exchange for
this section of land.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado - Disposing of 35 acres of easement on an
abandoned water canal; value to be determined. The abandoned canal stopped
carrying water almost ten years ago, and the Refuge has since found another
source of recycled water. It is Service policy to dispose of property or
interests in property that are excess to our needs.
The commission also approved more
than $22.3 million in grants through the NAWCA Standard Grants Program to
support six Canadian projects that will benefit ducks, geese, and other
migratory birds on more than 134,000 acres in 12 provinces and territories.
Partners will contribute at least $22.3 million in matching non-federal dollars
toward these projects.
Projects funded in Canada with
NAWCA Standard Grants in fiscal year 2012 include:
Conservancy of Canada
Work will be undertaken in the
Northern Appalachian/Acadian Ecoregion in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince
Edward Island and the Boreal Shield Ecoregion in Newfoundland and Labrador. The
objective is to expand on success realized through partnerships with
agricultural interests to conserve critical habitats in working agricultural
landscapes though the development and implementation of sustainable,
waterfowl-friendly land use practices.
This project will support
waterfowl production, molting and staging in the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture.
Other associated migratory birds and species at risk will also benefit from the
habitats conserved. Activities are set to support the longer term habitat goals
of the joint venture. In addition, executing conservation actions outlined in
this proposal will result in the conservation of critical boreal habitats.
During the meeting, the
commission also heard a presentation summarizing 44 projects that were
previously approved for funding by the North American Wetlands Conservation
Council under the NAWCA U.S. Small Grants Program.
These grant awards total more
than $2.8 million in federal funds. Partners will contribute more than $7.3
million in matching funds toward these projects, which will protect and enhance
10,500 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in 23 states from Maine to
Each year, the commission
pre-approves the total amount of funding to be distributed to Small Grants
projects in the next fiscal year. Final project selection authority is
delegated to the council, which then reports its selections back to the
commission. For fiscal year 2012, the commission authorized up to $5 million to
fund projects under the Small Grants program.
Examples of projects funded with
NAWCA Small Grants in fiscal year 2012 include:
Grantee: Avalonia Land
The Avalonia Land Conservancy
will acquire two parcels totaling 73 acres, a portion of the 200-acre Bell
Cedar Swamp in North Stonington. Project goals include protecting rare Atlantic
white cedar habitat and associated wildlife; enhancing protection of adjacent
wetland systems; preserving important drinking water supplies; generating
wildlife-oriented research and recreation opportunities; and preserving local
historic heritage. This project supports broader goals of conserving forest
blocks and wildlife corridors in the region.
The purpose of this project is to
restore and protect grassland and riparian wetland habitats in the Wapsipinicon
River watershed. This effort will protect a "prairie stream" by acquiring
additional riparian habitat and creating a four-acre upland wetland within the
corridor. Waterfowl, grassland nesting birds and many species that use riparian
habitat will benefit from this project.
Grantee: U.S. Fish and
This project will restore small
wetlands on a series of federal wetland easements in northwestern Minnesota.
The sites are permanently protected habitat easements restored by the Service's
Private Lands program. The project will benefit the statewide strategy for
wildlife conservation and habitat protection.
Grantee: Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department
Partners will improve 150 feet of
existing levee and install a culvert and water control structure at the
location of an existing levee break on Alazan Bayou Wildlife Management Area,
allowing Texas Parks and Wildlife to draw-down water from approximately 154
acres of bottomland hardwood forest and shrub-scrub swamp during the growing
season and hold water in the wetland during the winter. Benefits to waterfowl
will include improved management capabilities to improve wetland conditions in
this historic roost-site and foraging area in which ducks, storks, spoonbill,
ibis, egrets and herons have been observed. Partners will also acquire a
51-acre tract that provides foraging habitat for mallards, wood ducks and other
dabbling ducks, and is used as brood habitat for wood ducks.
Migratory Bird Conservation
Commission members include Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mark Pryor
of Arkansas, Representatives John Dingell of Michigan and Robert Wittman of
Virginia, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection
Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, as well as state representatives serving
as ex-officio members who vote on projects located within their respective
Passed in 1989, NAWCA provides
matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed
partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States,
Canada, and Mexico. More information about the approved NAWCA grant projects is
available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm