March 12, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting at the McGowan Brake Club Inc., near Bastrop, on Feb. 25.
Kent Anderson, president of the McGowan Brake Club Inc., hosted representatives from 13 safe harbor properties including, LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Alabama Natural Heritage Program.
Meeting participants viewed presentations on LDWF’s Deer Management Assistance Program, the status of the Louisiana pine snake listing, the West Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership, RCW and the ecosystem management at McGowan Brake Club Inc. and at Ouachita Partners ATP. A field tour was conducted on two safe harbor properties in Morehouse Parish.
Kent Anderson and David Cassels from BTG Pactual (representing Ouachita Partners ATP) were presented plaques by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham recognizing their efforts in co-hosting this year’s meeting.
LDWF received a USFWS, Section 10 permit, authorizing it to administer the RCW Safe Harbor Program in January of 2005. Multiple partners, including non-governmental organizations, private landowners, environmental consultants and state and federal agencies helped shaped the final document.
The RCW Safe Harbor Program is designed to encourage landowners to actively and voluntarily manage pine timberlands for the benefit of the RCW, while reducing the fear of having an endangered species on their property. Landowners agree to employ one or more of five voluntary habitat management strategies that have a net conservation benefit for the RCW. These management strategies include: forest management, hardwood midstory management, prescribed burning, RCW cavity management and RCW population management.
For information regarding enrolling in the RCW Safe Harbor Program, contact Eric Baka, RCW Safe Harbor Coordinator at 318-487-5885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Photo caption: LDWF Secretary Robert Barham thanks co-hosts Kent Anderson and David Cassels at the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting.