WHEREAS, the Recovery Plan for the threatened Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus leteolus) lists as needed recovery actions: l ) identification of key recovery blocks of land and key corridors (p. 14, l . l), 2) protecting large tracts of relatively remote bear habitat with connecting corridors (p. 15, 1. l ), 3) using reforestation to establish corridors along streams or through habitat with unsuitable features (p. 15, 1.4), und
WHEREAS, occupied bear habitat is considered only areas where evidence exists of reproduction, i.e., a tèmale with cubs, and
WHEREAS, the Lake Ophelia N WR in Avoyelles Parish has been the site for successful repatriation of several females with cubs, most of which have stayed in the area, and
WHEREAS, the 60,000 plus acre Dewey Wills WMA is not only managed with consideration for the Louisiana Black Bear (p. I I Recovery Plan), but harbors one or more females with cubs, and
WHEREAS, these two blocks of forested land are only a short distance apart, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana Black Bears already travel between these two areas, and
WHEREAS, safe travel would be greatly facilitated by a forested corridor between the two areas.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the LWF supports the establishment of a habitat corridor for the Louisiana Black Bear in Catahoula Parish and urges the Black Bear Conservation Committee, The Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other conservation organizations and agencies to cooperate with willing sellers to acquire through easement, fee purchase or other negotiated means the rights to reforest a corridor between Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area and Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 4 March 2007, in Gonzales, Louisiana.