Exciting news to share for conservation in Louisiana! The bill creating the Louisiana Outdoors Forever conservation funding program (HB 762) has been passed by the Louisiana Legislature. The bill, introduced by Representative Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, which passed overwhelmingly in the house and senate, creates the Louisiana Outdoors Forever program. House Bill 406 provides $10 million in seed money for the program’s first year.
Working through voluntary conservation measures, the program will help fund projects that protect drinking water supplies, conserve wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities in urban and rural areas, sustain working farms and forests, and much more. It is estimated that outdoor recreation in Louisiana currently generates $12.2 billion in consumer spending annually and supports $3.4 billion in wages and salaries. Those numbers would grow with the ability to leverage funds with a possible five to one dollar match.
Polling in Louisiana has indicated that 79 percent of state voters support conservation funding, 97 percent agree that protecting drinking water sources is extremely important, and 73 percent agree that we all need to do more to conserve land, water, and wildlife habitat.
Louisiana Outdoors Forever as a program will support an important voluntary element to Louisiana’s conservation work and it’s gratifying to see Louisiana is providing this great opportunity to foster more partnerships and projects.
A big thank you to Representative Zee Zeringue and Senator Eddie Lambert for leading on legislative passage of this important investment in Louisiana’s natural heritage. We appreciate our legislators for recognizing the value of this program.
The Louisiana Outdoors Coalition includes Ducks Unlimited, Land Trust for Louisiana, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land and has worked to promote the benefits of the Program. The Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, Louisiana Forestry Association, and Louisiana Landowners Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Wild Turkey Federation – Louisiana, and Safari Club International have endorsed the legislation.
Learn more by visiting: https://louisianaoutdoorsforever.com/
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