WHEREAS, there exists an area in the far eastern portion of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, bounded on the west by Hwy 22, on the south by Highways 70 and 3125, on the east by Blind River and the north by the Amite River Diversion Canal, known to the local communities as “McElroy Swamp,” and
WHEREAS, the McElroy Swamp is comprised of thousands of acres of cypress and tupelo swamps, hardwood bottom lands, canal bank levees, palmetto ridges, and wooded ridges that provide food, shelter and protection for numerous species of big and small game animals that generations of sportsmen have enjoyed, and
WHEREAS, McElroy Swamp, being the nearest lowland basin to East Ascension Parish’s inhabited land mass serves as a sump, receiving most of the west to east run-off from this area before passing it on to Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, and
WHEREAS, the “natural drainage” of this area for thousands of years has always sustained itself, with very few flooding events, typically caused by extreme tidal surges or excessive rain fall associated with tropical storms or hurricanes, but, most importantly, rarely occurring during open hunting seasons, and
WHEREAS, in the early 1990’s, the implementation of the Ascension Parish forced drainage system and construction of the “McElroy” (AKA Marvin Breaux) pump station has significantly compounded flooding problems in McElroy Swamp, pumping as much as one million gallons of water per minute, in addition to residual rainfall, and
WHEREAS, these additional waters now create several flooding events annually outside of the levee protection system, displacing thousands of game animals which seek refuge on what high ground is available, making them most vulnerable to unethical (yet legal) hunters who know where to find them in these stressful times, and
WHEREAS, this area is unique unto itself in this reoccurring flooding problem, being directly effected by these forced pumping activities where water is accumulated quickly and dispersed slowly, warranting special measures to protect our game species, and
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has acknowledged the problem of flooding of the McElroy Swamp and consequent vulnerability of wildlife there and is commended for declaring emergency season closures on several occasions, determining closures via water level gauges, and conditions within the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, several miles to the east of McElroy Swamp, and
WHEREAS, the true lasting effects of floodwaters in McElroy Swamp cannot be accurately gauged from such a remote location, and therefore the LDWF is pressured to reopen seasons based on information which is not directly representative of the conditions there.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF), urges the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to establish monitoring stations and set criteria to automatically impose emergency hunting season closures specifically for the McElroy Swamp sump area.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LWF also urges the LDWF to recognize the boundaries of the McElroy Swamp in the far eastern portion of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, as bounded on the west by Hwy 22, on the south by Highways 70 and 3125, on the east by Blind River and the north by the Amite River Diversion Canal, for purposes of specific season closures until water levels recede and acceptable hunting conditions return within these defined boundaries.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, February 28, 2010 at Cypress Bend Resort, Many, Louisiana.