L.D.W.F. offering prescribed burning management plans for landowners

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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is currently accepting prescribed burning technical and financial assistance applications for landowners in the West Gulf Coastal Plain (WGCP) ecoregion located in northwestern Louisiana.

Property accepted into this program will have one prescribed burn conducted without charge to the landowner. LDWF or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists will develop a management plan and Louisiana Department of Agriculture Office of Forestry personnel will construct fire brakes and conduct the burn.

Interested landowners should contact LDWF or USFWS private land biologists for information or application materials. Applications will be accepted until March 15 and a biologist will contact the landowner to arrange a visit to the property to complete the ranking form and gather information for a management plan.

A single prescribed burn will not yield long-term benefits, so follow-up burns will be needed. LDWF and USFWS biologists will assist landowners in applying for programs that may provide financial assistance for future burns.

Prescribed burning is an important tool for managing pine and mixed pine-hardwood forests in the WGCP ecoregion. These fire-adapted forests provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and a decline in the use of prescribed burning has led to the decline in many species of birds and other animals that are dependent on the habitat that periodic burning provides. Prescribed burning also helps improve forest health and is one of the best tools for reducing the hazard from wild fires.

Any forestland that lies within the WGCP of Louisiana is eligible. However, land currently enrolled in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s cost-share or rental programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, is not eligible.

Applications will be ranked by location, forest composition, forest structure, tract size and proximity to other land that is regularly burned. Certain areas of the WGCP have been identified as priority areas and land within or bordering these priority areas will have the best chance of being accepted. However, not all land within the priority areas will be accepted, and land outside a priority area may be accepted over land in a priority area if other attributes are more suitable.

Contact one of these LDWF or USFWS offices for more information:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
Alexandria  – 318-487-5885
Ferriday – 318-757-4571
Minden – 318-371-3050
Monroe – 318-343-4045
Lafayette – 337-291-3100

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Tensas NWR – 318-574-2664
Bayou Cocodrie NWR – 318-336-7119
D’Arbonne NWR – 318-726-4222

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