Wildlife Federation to Celebrate 71st Convention at Toledo Bend

Conservation groups, sportsmen, environmentalists and natural resource management professionals from throughout Louisiana will convene Feb. 26-28 at Cypress Bend Resort near Many, La., for the 71st Annual Louisiana Wildlife Federation Convention.

At the meeting, federation members will discuss and vote on 14 resolutions that have been proposed for adoption by LWF affiliates and directors.

Subjects of the resolutions range from habitat acquisition, greenways and coastal-restoration strategies to managing the Atchafalaya Basin, law enforcement on state wildlife areas, and the structure and function of the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Commission.

The program begins with a social event on Friday evening when members, supporters, delegates and guests will enjoy a fish fry and auction to raise funds for the LWF’s conservation education and advocacy work. The event will highlight the activities of LWF affiliate and convention host Toledo Bend Lake Association, and will include a presentation on the struggle with the invasion of giant salvinia on this immense reservoir which is one of Louisiana’s outstanding natural resources.

Admission to this event is $25, $20 for registered convention guests.

Debate on the resolutions will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday in four conservation committees: Migratory, Forest & Upland Wildlife, Habitat Conservation & Management, Environmental Quality, and Conservation Policy, Laws & Enforcement.

The committee meetings will be followed by the Board of Directors Luncheon, at which federation officers will be elected for the new term. In addition, the luncheon will feature a presentation on the National Wildlife Federation’s Coastal Louisiana Restoration Program.

Tickets to the luncheon are $20, and the public is welcome to attend.

Those not participating in convention business meetings are invited to take part in the “Spouses Tour,” which will include visits to Hodges Gardens and the old lumber mill town of Fisher to visit its museums illustrating the days when endless forests and logging ruled the countryside of Central Louisiana. At Fisher, lunch will be served in the Old Mill Store before heading back to Cypress Bend. The tour and luncheon fee is $35, which includes convention registration.

From 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a general session featuring a “Roundtable” on the potential for the Louisiana Wildlife Federation to participate in the NWF’s Coastal Louisiana Restoration effort, followed by a presentation and discussion of the LWF’s emerging strategic plan, and a presentation on LWF’s initiative to establish the Caminada Headlands State Seashore.

A highlight of the convention will be the Saturday-evening presentation of the LWF’s Conservation Achievement Awards at a festive banquet honoring four individuals, three organizations and a business for outstanding conservation accomplishments in 2009.

Outdoor media personality Don Dubuc will emcee the banquet, which begins at 7 p.m. following a 6 p.m. reception. Banquet tickets are $40.

The convention will close on Sunday morning after final action by the General Assembly of Delegates on the resolutions adopted by the conservation committees on Saturday.

A preliminary convention agenda, registration form, and Resolutions Book and other details of the LWF convention are available on the LWF website at www.lawildlifefed.org.

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