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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is asking for public comments on the draft 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP).   The comment period will close August 1, 2015.

In 2005, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) received approval for the Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Approval of the SWAP was a prerequisite by Congress for participation in the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program, which has provided over $12 million for non-game conservation in Louisiana since 2001.

The SWAP provides a blueprint for the conservation and management of Louisiana’s fish and wildlife resources, with an emphasis on non-game species.  To ensure that the Louisiana SWAP remains relevant, it must be reviewed and revised every ten years, a process that is underway for the first time.  The value of the revised Louisiana State Wildlife Action Plan will depend greatly on the level of participation that LDWF receives from stakeholders of Louisiana’s natural resources.

The Louisiana SWAP identifies 342 animal and 389 plant Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN).  The SWAP details threats to SGCN, as well as strategies for conserving them. The SWAP also provides detailed information on 58 terrestrial habitats, 12 aquatic basins, and 5 marine habitats that are critical to the conservation of SGCN. Significant revisions have been made to the SWAP, including a comprehensive approach to invasive species, information on the potential impacts of climate change, and the identification of priority areas for SGCN conservation, known as Conservation Opportunity Areas.

The draft 2015 SWAP is available through the LDWF website via this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/wildlife-action-plan . For more information, or to provide comments on the SWAP, contact Sam Holcomb at 225-765-0239 or sholcomb@wlf.la.gov.

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