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To manage, conserve, and promote wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is the state agency responsible for management of the state's renewable natural resources including all wildlife and all aquatic life. The control and supervision of these resources are assigned to the department in the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, Article IX, Section 7 and in revised statutes under Title36 and Title 56. Responsibilities related to enforcement of boating safety laws are also assigned to LDWF in Title 34, Chapter 4, Part IV.
Prudent stewardship of the state's renewable natural resources contributes significantly to the quality of life of the state's citizens and to the economic well-being of the state. We serve almost two million direct users and countless others who benefit indirectly.
LDWF supports a strong work ethic in its employees and incorporates the use of good science, accurate information, and technology in carrying out its mission. The agency continually looks for ways to improve the way we manage resources to ensure their sustainability and availability for all users now and in the future.
There are national trends that challenge all fish and wildlife agencies. Some of these include:
- People have increasingly greater demands on their time.
- Access to natural resources in becoming more restricted.
- Citizens have less trust in government.
- Funding is limited.
- The human population is aging.
- Complex regulations make it difficult to attract novices to hunting and fishing.
- Wildlife habitat is shrinking because of development.
- Increasingly urbanized public.
These national issues in addition to state issues create a challenging climate for natural resource management. To ensure success in maintaining and expanding opportunities to the users of the resources and to ensure continued sustainable populations of fish and wildlife species, the department must enhance citizen participation, create opportunities to inform the public and exchange ideas and concerns, and make decisions that include scientific, social and economic factors.
- Jennifer Thomas
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