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LEEC eNews Bulletin: Reminder, LEEC Grant Applications due by Friday, February 22

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will continue to accept proposals for its 2019-2020 grant cycle until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019. Don't miss this great opportunity to fund classroom or schoolwide environmental education projects, professional development,  or academic research. Formal and non-formal educators and university students throughout the state may apply for a grant in one of four categories: 

Educator Grants - Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact Louisiana students - Those eligible: Accredited K-12 Louisiana schools - Maximum award: $1,000 for 1 teacher or $2,000 for a team —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-educator-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-educator-grant-guidelines-0 

 

Green Schools Grants - Supports projects designed to reduce a school’s environmental impact, reduce health disparities that can aggravate achievement gaps, and engage students in hands-on learning. Proposals to be considered are those that align with pillars found in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/green-schools-pillars-and-elements - Those eligible: Accredited K-12 Louisiana schools - Maximum award: $5,000 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leecldoe-green-schools-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leecldoe-green-schools-grant-guidelines

 

Professional Development Grants - Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact preservice and/or in-service educators in Louisiana - Those eligible: Louisiana education, state, or environmental agencies, colleges, universities, or 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations - Maximum award: $2,500 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-professional-development-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-professional-development-grant-guidelines

 

University Research Grants - Post-graduate research with a focus on environmental issues - Those eligible: Students attending Louisiana colleges or universities and who are working toward a Masters, Ph.D., or conducting Ph.D. research are eligible to apply on behalf of their school - Maximum award: $1,200 —

Application: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/2019-2020-leec-university-research-grant-application

Guidelines: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-2020-leec-university-research-grant-guidelines

 

For questions regarding the grant application process, please contact Venise Ortego at vortego@wlf.la.gov.

For questions regarding the online application form, please contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov

Avoyelles Night Hunting Investigation Leads to Multiple Violations and Arrest

Release Date: 02/14/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged hunting violations in Avoyelles Parish in January and February of 2019.

Agents cited James A. Bacon, 53, Bruce Norman, 55, both of Marksville, and Henry Tidwell Jr., 50, of Pineville, for possession of an illegally taken deer, hunting deer during illegal hours, and hunting without basic hunting and big game hunting licenses.

Bacon was also arrested for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, taking deer with an illegal weapon, taking deer illegally from a boat, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and possession of marijuana.  Norman was also cited for taking deer illegally from a boat.  Tidwell Jr. was also cited for failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 6 that Bacon was involved in some illegal night hunting that was taking place near Slim Lemoine Road south of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish.  Agents made contact with Bacon, during a traffic stop and found him in possession of two firearms in the back seat of the truck.

On Jan. 19, agents discovered that Bacon was a convicted felon and obtained a search warrant for his residence.  During the execution of the search warrant, agents located three firearms, an ice chest of deer meat and and a bag of marijuana.  Bacon admitted to killing the deer with Norman with a .17 rifle on the Coulee des Grous Bayou that runs parallel to Slim Lemoine Road.  Agents seized the three firearms and the bag of marijuana.

Later that evening, agents made contact with Norman and he admitted to driving the boat at night and holding the spotlight while Bacon shot the deer.  Normand also informed agents that he was involved with the taking of another deer at night with Tidwell, Jr.

Agents were unable to make contact with Tidwell Jr. during this time due to numerous warrants for his arrest.  On Feb. 11, the Forest Hill Police Department informed agents that they apprehended Tidwell Jr. and booked him at Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Agents made contact with Tidwell Jr. and he admitted to shooting an antlerless deer at night with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking deer with an illegal weapon and from a boat, and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.   Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Illegally possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Possession of marijuana brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Bacon and Tidwell Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 each for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Tallulah Man Cited for Taking Six Antlered Deer this Hunting Season

Release Date: 02/07/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Tallulah man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1 in Madison Parish.

Agents cited Kenneth D. Gunter, 53, for taking over the seasonal limit of deer, taking over the daily limit of antlered deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 31 that Gunter harvested two antlered deer on the same day along the Mississippi River Levee five miles north of Tallulah.  Agents made contact with Gunter and found that he had harvested six antlered deer during the 2018-19 deer-hunting season including two antlered deer he harvested on Jan. 20.

Gunter also failed to tag any of the six antlered deer he harvested.

The seasonal limit for antlered deer is three and the daily limit of antlered deer is one for this area of the state.  Agents seized six sets of antlers including a 10-point, two 9-points, two 8-points and a five point as evidence.

Taking over the daily limit of deer and over the daily limit of deer each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Gunter may also face civil restitution totaling up to $11,382 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Authorities Recover Body of Prairieville Man After Boating Incident

Release Date: 02/07/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and U.S. Coast Guard personnel recovered the deceased body of a Prairieville man from Lena Lagoon in St. Bernard Parish this morning, Feb. 7.

The body of Freddie Dufrene, 70, was recovered around 10:15 a.m. and turned over to the St. Bernard Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

According to the survivors of the boating incident, Dufrene was an occupant in a vessel that left out of the Hopedale area to go to Lake Borgne around 6:30 a.m.

In Lena Lagoon the operator made a sharp turn to avoid running into the bank, which subsequently ejected the operator and Dufrene into the water.  Another occupant on the vessel was able to get control of the vessel and retrieve the operator from the water.

Before the survivors could get to Dufrene, he went under the water and never resurfaced.  The survivors called for help and LDWF, St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office and USCG arrived shortly thereafter to conduct a search for Dufrene.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  The men ejected from the vessel were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time of the incident.

Deer Hunting Violations Leads to Two Arrests

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four Plaquemines Parish residents for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1, 2019.  Agents also cited one subject for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and another for pubic intimidation and threatening a public official in addition to their wildlife charges.

Agents cited William J. Dillman, 41, Devin A. Bourgeios, 28, Paul R. Hammer, 48,  and Jerry J. Vicknair Jr., 30, all from Belle Chasse, for hunting deer during illegal hours and hunting from a public road.

Agents were on patrol in Plaquemines Parish at night when they observed three all-terrain vehicles (ATV) on Buccaneer Road just south of Belle Chasse bordering the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.  The agents witnessed the men actively night hunting.

Agents made contact with the men and during questioning Dillman admitted to actively hunting at night.  Dillman then began making numerous threats to the agents and he was arrested for threatening a public official and public intimidation.

Agents also arrested Hammer for a DWI after witnessing him operate an ATV on a public roadway while impaired.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle both bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Public intimidation carries up to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail.  Threatening a public official carries a up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

LEEC Short Course Spotlight: Using Mobile Devices to Track Biodiversity in the School Yard and Habitat Restoration Areas

LEEC's 2019 Regional Short Course event is Saturday, February 16. Our aim is to bring environmental education professional development to communities all around the state. Classroom teachers, non-formal educators and anyone seeking a better understanding of environmental projects in their communities have a host of choices available at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-leec-regional-short-courses for the event. Today, we're spotlighting: Using Mobile Devices to Track Biodiversity in the School Yard and Habitat Restoration Areas  (Monroe Region) Combination Workshop and Tour.
 
Ecological Restoration is a key tool conservation biologists and natural resource managers use to create new habitat for plants and animals and to restore ecosystem services to people. To understand the impact of restoration and the success of those efforts, the changes in ecological communities need to be monitored over time.  These changes can be assessed by monitoring changes in the number and type of species of plants and animals found in the restoration area over time.
 
Our workshop and tour will involve a discussion of restoration, particularly of the Shortleaf Pine ecosystem, which is endangered in Louisiana.  We will tour Wafer Creek Ranch, which is one of the only Shortleaf Pine restoration projects in the state.  Teachers will acquire skills and knowledge about restoration and wildlife through learning about multiple restoration practices and active engagement in techniques used to monitor wildlife with an emphasis on how these can be employed in classroom activities. 
 
In particular, this workshop will emphasize biodiversity monitoring through iNaturalist, which  is a free citizen science app and web-based platform compatible with smart phones, tablets and computers. Through iNaturalist, users can take pictures of organisms and upload them to an online database to document plant and animal locations.  Organism identification occurs with the help of other iNaturalist users, and scientists worldwide can use the data collected. The techniques learned could be easily implemented to examine school-yard plants and animals.  Teachers will also leave the workshop with the tools and practice to incorporate an anchoring phenomena routine in line with science practices and the new Louisiana environmental and earth science standards.  
 
Photos: Carson Taylor Hall at Louisiana Tech University and shortleaf pine resortation.
 
Presenters: Julia Earl, Chris Campbell, Terri Maness and Natalie Clay, Louisiana Tech University 
Location: Carson Taylor Hall, Louisiana Tech University, 1 Adams Blvd, ​Ruston, LA 71272
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th, College
Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm

LEEC eNews:Short Course Spotlight, Raising an Outdoor Kid and More!

Short Course Spotlight

LEEC's 2019 Regional Short Course event is just a two weeks away. Our aim is to bring environmental education professional development to communities all around the state. Classroom teachers, non-formal educators and anyone seeking a better understanding of environmental projects in their communities have a host of choices available at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-leec-regional-short-courses for the February 16 event. Register by next Friday, Februay 8 to make sure you receive all of the pre-course communications and all of the good stuff at the event like lunch, course materials and your "goodie bag."
 
Today, we're spotlighting: LSU Center for River Studies and Your Classroom (Baton Rouge Region) Combination Workshop and Tour
 
Learn how to bring the LSU Center for River Studies 10,000 square foot scale model of the lower Mississippi River to your students! This state-of-the-art facility offers several distinct themes with illustrations and interactive features to help visualize and communicate the importance of the Mississippi River Delta, the ongoing coastal land-loss crisis, and CPRA’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan restoration and risk reduction program.  This session includes a research overview delivered by Principal Investigator Dr. Clint Willson. Actual water and sediment flow across the model’s 14,000 square mile section of Southeast Louisiana including Terrebonne, Barataria, Breton Sound, and Pontchartrain Basins, depicted on the map as an area from Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico. Using exact parameters of the river’s physical and dynamic properties, the model produces a degree of accuracy never before achieved in lower-river physical modeling at this scale. The primary river-model goals are to produce qualitative land building results associated with sediment diversions in the Lower River, and serve as a complementary planning tool to computer models currently utilized. River Center staff will present an interactive presentation that projects satellite photos and graphics directly onto the massive model! They will also describe field trip opportunities for your students. In addition to the river model, we will cross the levee to view the spring flood pulse of the Mississippi River from the stunning terrace and conference facilities at The Estuary at the Water Campus. Here our session will continue with a review of connections to the Louisiana Student Standards for Science. Participants will learn how to use the model as an anchoring phenomenon and in the development of story-lines as they complete hands-on Youth Wetland Program lessons linked to the model. This is an experience not to be missed! 
 
Presenters: Steve Babcock, LSU Laboratory School/CPRA with Joseph McClatchy and Dr. Clint Wilson, LSU Center for River Studies 
Location: LSU Center for River Studies, 100 Terrace Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th
Time: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
 

LEEC News

Grant Application Deadline Approaching

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) is now accepting proposals for their 2019-2020 Grants Program. The submission deadline for each of these grants is February 22, 2019. Applications will be accepted via electronic submission only.
 
Grants are available in four different categories: Educator, Green Schools, Professional Development and University Research. See http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/grant-opportunities for more information and to apply.
 

Art & Language Arts Contest

The 2019 LEEC Student Environmental Awareness Art and Language Arts Contest will feature the theme "Taking Environmental Action: What's Great About Your Part of the State?" We encourage students to investigate environmental efforts specific to their hometown, parish or region of the state. 
 
Students: Does your community have a unique recycling center, dedicated volunteer organization, green business or outdoor facility that makes it unique in the environmental landscape? Take inspiration from people doing good things for the environment and create a piece of visual or language art that explains what is great about your part of the state. 
 
The deadline for the contest is Friday, April 19, 2019.  See http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artcontest for contest rules and application form.
 

Education Opportunities

Introduction To Birdwatching (Free)

Sunday, February 10 from 9 - 11 a.m. at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve, Barataria Preserve: 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero.
 
We love our birds and you will, too! Come and learn:
  • How to choose and use binoculars (loaners are available, but feel free to bring your own)
  • How to choose and use a field guide
  • How to identify birds using several characteristics
  • Which species are year-round residents and which are migratory visitors
  • How to record bird data on eBird for use in scientific research
Birders can finish the morning with a guided walk through the preserve to practice their new skills
 
Contact Kimberly Cooke to reserve your spot: kimberly_cooke@partner.nps.gov
 

Frogwatch!

Wednesday, February 20 from 7-9 p.m. at theBarataria Preserve, 314 Saint Mary Street, 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero
 
Spend a few hours learning about the critical role frogs play in their ecosystems. We will learn how to identify frogs by their calls and hike out in the preserve to locate and record the frogs we find for use in scientific research. We may run into some other surprises on the way. Night at the preserve is a special time when nocturnal animals are their busiest!
 
Contact Science Literacy and Engagement Manager Kimberly Cooke kimberly_cooke@partner.nps.gov to register.
 

Lagniappe

How to Raise an Outdoor Kid

Nkrumah Frazier, the Sustainability Officer for the City of Hattiesburg, MS has written an engaging article about how he uses outdoor activity as part of his parenting strategy.
 
From the article, "I showed them what I like to do best outside. And through countless urban hikes, early morning bird watching and frequent trips back home to visit my family’s land, I’ve tried my best to bring the outdoors into my children’s lives."
 
 
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Meet February 7, 2019

Release Date: 01/31/2019

The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

The following items will be discussed:

1.      Call to Order

2.      Pledge of Allegiance

3.      Roll Call

4.      Adoption of January 8, 2019, Commission Meeting Minutes

5.      Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.      Enforcement Report, January 2019 – Major Edward Skena, Enforcement Division

7.      Receive Public Comments for the Notice of Intent for Rule Changes in Wild Quadrupeds and Wild Bird Rules and Regulations, including Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Rules and Regulations, General and Wildlife Management Area Hunting Rules and Regulations, General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations, Along with Resident Game Hunting Season Date Adjustments for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, and Migratory Bird Season Adjustments for 2019-2020 – Tommy Tuma, Habitat Stewardship Branch Director

8.      Receive and Consider Amendments to the Notice of Intent for Rule Changes in General and Wildlife Management Area Hunting Rules and Regulations Regarding Limited Access Areas, Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Rules and Regulations, Nighttime Hunting of Outlaw Quadrupeds, Migratory Bird Season Adjustments for 2019-2020 and Related Matters – Tommy Tuma, Habitat Stewardship Branch Director

9.      Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify Oyster Leasing Policies and Procedures and Establish Procedures to Lift the Oyster Lease Moratorium – Cole Garrett, General Counsel

10.  Receive and Accept the Stock Assessment Report for Striped Mullet for Transmittal to the Legislature – Jason Adriance, Fisheries Biologist

11.  Receive a Summary Presentation on the January 2019 Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Meeting – Chris Schieble, Fisheries Biologist

12.  Set June 2019 Commission Meeting Date and Confirm May 2019 Commission Meeting Date and Location

13.  Receive Public Comments

14.  Adjournment

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com. To attend a live broadcast of the January 2019 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3210356646338320386

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

St. Landry Man Cited For Illegal Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/30/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a St. Landry man on Jan. 18 for alleged deer hunting violations.

Agents cited Christopher Rocio for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, hunting deer from a moving vehicle, driving under suspension, and obstruction of justice.

Agents were on patrol in St. Landry Parish when they observed a vehicle stop on a public roadway.  The agents witnessed the driver shoot at a deer at night.

Agents stopped the vehicle with Rocio as the operator.  During questioning, Rocio admitted to shooting at the deer and then throwing his 12-gauge shotgun from the vehicle before being stopped.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle both bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense. Driving under suspension carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Obstruction of justice carries up to a $10,000 fine and five years in jail.

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