Ducks Unlimited, the New Orleans City Park Improvement Association and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have worked together to ensure the Timken Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be protected and remain accessible to the public in perpetuity.

“Timken Wildlife Management Area is a hidden gem in the world of wildlife management areas,” said Cara Lambright, President & CEO of City Park Conservancy. “It is over 2,500 acres of freshwater marsh that is close to the city and open to the public for fishing, hunting, and other recreational activities. Thanks to the land transfer agreement, this area will now be protected in perpetuity for future generations.”

Located just outside New Orleans between Lakes Cataouatche and Salvador, Timken WMA has long been viewed as a recreational destination for locals and visitors to the New Orleans area. A marsh island, the area provides excellent habitat for waterfowl, furbearers, and alligators, as well as nesting habitat for the previously endangered bald eagle. Importantly, the 2,585-acre property connects a network of other surrounding public lands, such as Salvador WMA (30,000 acres) and the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve (25,000 acres).

“The transfer of this property to LDWF is a win for conservation,” said Cassidy Lejeune of Ducks Unlimited. “The property will be permanently protected under the stewardship of LDWF, and a special thanks goes out to City Park for their contribution. Through this partnership, we were able to secure North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding to cover most of the transfer costs.”

Couba Island was gifted to the New Orleans City Park Improvement Association by the Timken Family in the 1990s and has been leased to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and managed as Timken WMA since 1995. The City Park Improvement Association desired to transfer the property to LDWF to ensure its protection and to ensure resources remained available for other park assets. Recognizing its importance for wildlife and people, the partners worked together to ensure a win-win-win for wetland conservation and public access.

“This project was a good investment for LDWF, wildlife and Louisiana’s citizens,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Shadoin. “Our investment of only $100,000 resulted in us becoming the permanent owners of Timken WMA. The NAWCA program was a great mechanism to use mostly federal funds to acquire the property and permanently incorporate it into our WMA system.” 

Ducks Unlimited helped secure funding and facilitated the land transfer from the New Orleans City Park Improvement Association to LDWF. Project partners include the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, LDWF, the James M. Cox Foundation of Georgia, Williams, Batture LLC, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation: Project Assistance Fund, Zyne Family Foundation, Louise H. Moffett Family Foundation, Eugenie & Joseph Jones Family Foundation, and Louisiana First Horizon Foundation.

“Supporting our communities as good environmental stewards is core to our values,” said Mark Gebbia, Vice President of Environmental & Permitting at Williams. “Through our continued partnership with Ducks Unlimited, we are helping preserve this critical wildlife habitat, an ecological treasure for residents and visitors to southeast Louisiana.”