The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is pleased to announce the finalists for its innaugural Green Schools Grants Program.
The LEEC, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), offers Green Schools Grants to school administrators or fulltime classroom teachers in accredited public or non-public schools (Pre-K-12) in Louisiana for projects based on sound scientific principles that have a school sustainability focus and are designed to directly involve students in the learning process. The aim of this joint effort is to encourage Green Ribbon Schools initiatives in accredited Louisiana schools.
Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $9,500 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on May 23 in Woodworth.
The LOGT board reviewed a total of 21 cases that included public tips from 23 informants. A total of 31 subjects were apprehended and a total of 236 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases. The LOGT has paid out a total of $368,400 since inception in 1984.
The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of 13 deer cases, four turkey cases, and the illegal cutting of trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area among a few others.
In the Spring Bayou WMA case agents used a public tip to arrest Rick K. Savoy, 48, of Hessmer, on March 6.
Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program. To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps from the iTunes or Google Play store free of charge. Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.
Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations. Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.
To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at email@example.com.
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission has postponed the announcement of the 2015-2016 Green Schools Award finalists until Friday, May 29, 2015 to allow more time for review of submitted proposals. Thank you for your patience and have a happy Memorial Day weekend.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent was shot in the line of duty while on patrol on the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish.
Around 6:40 p.m. Sgt. Scott Bullitt, 32, of Jonesboro, along with another agent stopped a vehicle at the end of Buckley Hill Road near the Wham Break Boat Launch. Sgt. Bullitt believed the occupants of the vehicle to be impaired and proceeded to go back to the LDWF patrol vehicle.
While walking back to his vehicle, Sgt. Bullitt was shot in the lower back by the passenger of the vehicle, later identified as Luke Jarrod Hust, 29, of Monroe. The other agent returned fire. Hust fled the scene into the woods. It is unknown if Hust was hit.
The unwounded agent was able to call for help and apprehend the driver of the vehicle, whom authorities don’t believe fired any shots at this time. The driver was subsequently brought in for questioning.
Around 7 p.m. the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on the scene and were able to take Sgt. Bullitt to a local Monroe hospital where he is listed in serious condition.
The LDWF Enforcement Division, State Police, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Monroe Police Dept., and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection set up a perimeter and searched the area for Hust. At 11 p.m. authorities located and arrested Hust on Timber Lane Drive in Monroe.
“We are praying for the well-being of Sgt. Bullitt and his family,” said LDWF Sec. Robert Barham. “Also want to give thanks to everyone that helped locate this fugitive so that justice can be served.”
Sgt. Bullitt has been an LDWF agent for over five years and is married with no kids. He recently received the “Louisiana Highway Safety Commission DWI Award” presented on March 24. He was selected among statewide agents to receive this award due to his dedication and hard work to make Louisiana waterways and roadways safer for the traveling public by removing impaired drivers.
“This is a sad day for all wildlife and fisheries agents in the country,” said Col. Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. “Our agents travel into remote areas patrolling public lands often and it can be a very dangerous task as we saw tonight. My thoughts at this time are with Sgt. Bullitt and his family and also the brave men and women that contributed to catching the shooter.”
Louisiana State Police will be the lead investigative agency for this shooting incident.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited an Arnaudville man on May 6 for allegedly illegally poisoning a coyote, eight vultures and three opossums in St. Martin Parish.
Agents cited Laurant W. Taylor, 71, for intentional concealment of wildlife, taking non-game birds illegally, taking non-game quadrupeds illegally and taking opossums illegally.
Agents began investigating Taylor when they received a complaint about dead birds that appeared to be poisoned along Mike LeBlanc Road. Upon investigating the complaint agents noticed pig parts spread on the road and shoulder that had a white residue coating the surface. Agents also located five dead vultures and two dead opossums a short distance from the pig parts.
After collecting the dead animals and pig parts for evidence, agents came into contact with Taylor who was driving his vehicle on the road. Agents found out that Taylor farmed and hunted most of the surrounding areas.
On April 4 agents returned to the scene and found another three dead vultures, two dead opossums and another site of pig parts. On April 7 agents learned that the chemical coating on the pig parts and dead animals was carbofuran.
On April 23 agents approached Taylor with the new found evidence of carbofuran. Taylor admitted to lacing the pig parts with the chemical and spreading the parts out on the road to kill coyotes on March 29. He said the area where he spread the pig parts was where he commonly hunted rabbits. Taylor also admitted to finding and removing a dead coyote near the poisoned pig parts on April 1.
After obtaining all evidence, agents cited Taylor for the wildlife violations on May 6.
Intentional concealment of wildlife brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Illegally taking non-game quadrupeds and non-game birds each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days for each offense. Illegally taking opossums brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Taylor also faces a total of $139.28 in civil restitution for the illegally killed animals.
Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ryan Faul, Sgt. Brian Theriot, Senior Agent Cullom Schexnyder, Senior Agent Jason Sanchez and Agent Andrew Arton.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged oyster violations in the Empire area of Plaquemines Parish on May 19.
Agents cited Diego Gonzalez, 21, of Bacliff, Texas, Jose Bocanegra, 45, of St. Bernard, and Khal Kim, 23, of Empire, for harvesting oysters from vessels in violation of the state’s oyster harvesting health code.
Agents found Gonzalez harvesting oysters from a vessel without the required tarp to protect oysters from sun and other adverse conditions. Agents then found Bocanegra harvesting oysters from a vessel that was not following refrigeration requirements for oysters intended for raw consumption. Finally Kim was caught harvesting oysters without the required Department of Health and Hospitals logbook.
Failing to follow refrigeration requirements for oysters brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Harvesting oysters without the required logbook and tarp in adverse conditions each carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail for each offense.
Agents seized a total of 161 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.
Agents participating in case are Sgt. Adam Young, and Agents Travis Bartlett, and Blaine Wagner.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited five subjects for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on May 7.
Agents cited Brent M. Leboeuf, 23; Amberlly C. Leboeuf, 28; and Armando Brunet, 28, all from Houma, Jose Duron, 20, and Tito Bermudez, 22, both from New Orleans, for taking oysters during a closed season.
While on patrol agents observed an oyster vessel enter Sister Lake near dusk. Due to the numerous complaints of illegal activity on Sister Lake, agents set up surveillance and observed the vessel being used to harvest oysters on the closed seed ground. The Sister Lake public grounds did not open for the 2014-2015 oyster season.
Agents returned 20 sacks of oysters to the water and seized two dredges and the vessel.
Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Any person convicted of this violation may only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system monitored by LDWF for a period of one year.
Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Bryan Marie and Richard Purvis.
Three Houma men were found guilty of oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish Division E Court on May 18.
Judge Randy Bethancourt sentenced Samuel Dobson, 35, the captain of the oyster vessel, to pay $1,654.50 in fines, to forfeit his commercial fishing license for 10 years, 120 hours of community service in a litter abatement program and one year of supervised probation. Judge Bethancourt ordered John Parker III, 25, to pay a $2,629.50 fine and Dylan Parker, 21, to pay a $2,679.50 fine.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested the men for oyster harvesting violations on Dec. 18 in Terrebonne Parish. Agents arrested the men for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation, taking oysters from a polluted area, taking oysters during illegal hours, taking oysters without commercial gear and vessel licenses, and violating the sanitation code (log book).
On Dec. 18 around 8:30 p.m., LDWF agents were patrolling the Sister Lake Seed Reservation when they observed a vessel in the open water of Sister Lake dredging for oysters. Agents stopped the vessel and found the three men in possession of two sacks of oysters.
Agents seized the vessel, two oyster dredges and returned the oysters to the water. The men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.
The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 season.
Agents participating in this care were Sgt. Thomas Dewitt, Sgt. Brian Marie, Senior Agent Jamie Folse, Agent Richard Bean and Agent Lucas Hidalgo. Assistant District Attorney Chris Erny prosecuted the case.