WHEREAS, January 7, 2013 marked the 21st anniversary of the listing of the Louisiana black bear under the guidelines of the Endangered Species Act; and
WHEREAS, the Black Bear Conservation Coalition (BBCC), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and many other public and private interests and partners have restored, improved, and protected habitat through a variety of government and privately funded conservation efforts; and
WHEREAS, these proactive and voluntary measures have resulted, not only in substantial increases in the bear population, but also have had positive implications on habitat for all types of wildlife, water quality, ground water recharge, carbon sequestration and many other environmental benefits; and
WHEREAS, recovery and delisting of the Louisiana black bear depends on the establishment of corridors of habitat sufficient to allow bears to travel between bear subpopulations within the state; and
WHEREAS, in the southeastern United States, most land is privately owned; and
WHEREAS, the ESA has very little impact on land management decisions that have no federal nexus (private land, private money, and no federal permits required); and
WHEREAS, most substantial conservation measures in the region will take place on private lands, generally funded by conservation initiatives administered by government agencies; and
WHEREAS, most agencies are expecting substantial budget cuts in the coming years.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) encourages all state and federal agencies that administer conservation incentive programs on private lands to work together to pool limited resources, and continue to incentivize the conversion of marginal agricultural lands to forested and wetland habitat for black bears.
Resolution No. 10C, 2013 – BLACK BEAR MANAGEMENT, Page 2
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF urges said agencies to, collaboratively, design a strategy and implementation plan that efficiently applies limited resources to establish forested corridors connecting National Wildlife Refuges, Wildlife Management Areas, and other large forested tracts of public and private lands in Louisiana.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, February 24, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 8,500 members and 25 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.