WHEREAS, a primary purpose of the State’s Coastal Use Permit Program administered by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) is to minimize the damage to coastal wetlands from development projects, and
WHEREAS, to accommodate projects with “minimal” impacts, LDNR has adopted a policy which allows the permittee to pay a mitigation fee for project damages, and
WHEREAS, for this policy to be effective in mitigating wetland damages, the actual impacts of each project must be accurately determined and a realistic cost of mitigating for actual damages must be assessed, and
WHEREAS, LDNR has collected mitigation funds from permittees for two years, but has yet to implement any mitigation projects specifically designed to address the impacts from those coastal use projects it has permitted and collected mitigation fees on, and
WHEREAS, the ineffective implementation of this policy is contrary to the intent of the State’s Coastal Wetlands Conservation Plan, contributes to the degradation and loss of coastal wetlands and impairs the credibility of coastal restoration advocates in seeking public support for coastal restoration in Louisiana.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation urges the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to review its mitigation policy to make sure actual damages from coastal use projects it permits are accurately assessed, that fees commensurate with the cost of mitigation for those damages are collected from the permittee, and that plans are developed to annually implement effective mitigation projects with the mitigation funds collected.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 62nd Annual Meeting, March 4, 2001 in Many, Louisiana.