BATON ROUGE, La. – June 1, 2022 – Today, the Louisiana state Senate and House of Representatives agreed on legislation to create the Louisiana Outdoors Forever program, which will authorize $10 million annually for wildlife conservation in the state. The bill will now head to Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk to be signed into law.
To this point, Louisiana is the only state in the southeastern United States without a dedicated conservation funding program, while other states have leveraged millions of public and private matching dollars to conserve habitat and support local economies. While this is not yet a dedicated source, this new conservation funding will help restore critically important wetlands and other waterfowl habitat in one of DU's highest priority conservation areas.
"This new funding source will help DU and our partners in Louisiana keep rice on the landscape, support our ongoing habitat restoration work on public lands and improve hunting opportunities around the state," said Ed Penny, DU Director of Public Policy in the Southern Region. "It could not have passed without the hard work and leadership of Rep. Zeringue and Sen. Lambert. Louisiana DU volunteers have been vocal about the need for this program and are grateful for its passage."
Funding appropriated through the Louisiana Outdoors Forever will:
- Provide clean drinking water through watershed conservation
- Support working farms and forests
- Provide and improve recreation areas in both urban and rural communities
- Protect, restore and enhance public and private lands and waters
- Improve habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife
Fast facts about dedicated statewide funding in Louisiana:
- 79% of Louisiana voters support statewide conservation funding.
- 97% of Louisiana voters agree that protecting sources of drinking water is important.
- 73% of Louisiana voters agree we should do more to conserve land, water and wildlife habitat.
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Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org