Less than two hours after a story first appeared on LouisianaSportsman.com indicating a mud boat ordinance passed last week by the Plaquemines Parish Council faced an uncertain future, the author of the measure confirmed she has initiated the process to kill the measure entirely.
District 9 council member Nicole Smith Williams said she emailed Parish President Amos Cormier Jr. earlier today requesting a discussion with him to scrap the whole ordinance.
“I have sent a request to the parish president to veto this ordinance due to the vagueness of the language,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon. “He’s in Washington at this time, and I don’t expect him to respond to me until Friday because he’s out of town until late Thursday night.”
Action by Cormier would be the fastest way to scuttle Ordinance No.15-63, which was adopted by the council on May 14, she said.
With only council member Jeff Edgecombe absent, all other members were present and voted unanimously for the measure, according to a draft of the resolution obtained by LouisianaSportsman.com.
“From my understanding, he can veto it,” she said. “This is the quickest way to get it off the books.”
The ordinance in place now prohibits “commercial and recreational mud boats from trespassing on public and private property located within the boundaries of Plaquemines Parish without the written permission of the landowners,” and also establishes enforcement provisions for violators.
It also stipulates that all property subject to the ordinance be conspicuously posted with “No Trespassing” signs. Anyone convicted of violating the ordinance could be fined between $50 and $500, the ordinance states.
“My intentions were not to alienate hunters or fisherman or anyone else. My husband hunts and fishes,” Williams said. “The reason that I introduced this was because I was approached by a reserve deputy. The intention was to introduce something similar to the airboat ordinance that was passed a few years ago by the previous council.
“I guess the verbiage in this particular ordinance wasn’t clear enough, and because I received an enormous amount of concern from the public — as well as after reviewing it — I realized it’s not specific enough. It’s too vague. It doesn’t go into detail.”
Williams said she has no plans to reintroduce further mud boat-specific measures in the future, but said she does think steps should be taken to protect areas where coastal restoration projects are underway.
“It won’t be geared just at mud boats. It will be for any type of vessels or anything that would do damage to the land where we have projects ongoing,” she said. “It wouldn’t even be just for vessels — it could be for equipment or anything that could do damage to areas that we’re trying to restore.”