Louisiana residents and visitors will have improved and increased opportunity for waterfowl hunting and wildlife watching on the popular Sherburne Wildlife Management Area. Ducks Unlimited has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to create additional wetland habitat on the South Farm Unit of the WMA, which will open new areas for public waterfowl hunting and provide increased habitat management capabilities. Project partners gathered today at the WMA to celebrate the site improvements.
“This project is the first one in the state supported in part by Louisiana DU license plate sales,” said Mike Carloss, DU manager of conservation programs. “This gives DU members and supporters a terrific, tangible example of what supporting Ducks Unlimited means for them in Louisiana.”
Located between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, south of US 190, Sherburne WMA provides many metropolitan residents the opportunity to enjoy hunting and other outdoor recreation. This project not only improves waterfowl habitat on areas already open to hunting, but also opens two new units for pursuing waterfowl.
“Sherburne is a favorite duck hunting spot in this part of the state for wildlife management area users,” said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. “Projects such as this improve habitat and expand opportunities for public hunting, and are great examples of cooperative efforts that enhance what we as a department can do with limited resources.”
Partners gathered to dedicate the project to the late John W. Barton, Sr. of Baton Rouge. Barton was a dedicated outdoorsman, Ducks Unlimited supporter and friend to all who met him.
“John had a large impact on me, but he had an even a larger impact on wildlife and the people who enjoy wildlife,” Jeffrey Svendson, DU Diamond Life Sponsor and friend of the Barton family, said. “This is a great project to honor him and his strong belief in wildlife and wetlands conservation. Projects like this wouldn’t happen without a lot of people like John willing to donate time and money for the preservation of our great outdoors and all the critters that live in it.”
Partners on the project include LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation, friends of John W. Barton, Sr., Wetlands America Trust and The Mosaic Company, which has operations near Baton Rouge and contributed to the project.
“We were excited to partner with Ducks Unlimited in restoring critical habitats for waterfowl in Louisiana,” said Gary N. “Bo” Davis, Mosaic Senior Vice President of Phosphate Operations. “By enhancing water delivery to the habitat at Sherburne, the function of the Atchafalaya Basin will be greatly improved. The health of the basin is crucial, as it captures overflow that would otherwise flood the Mississippi River, one of America’s most important waterways.”
Image courtesy Ducks Unlimited