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The Nature Conservancy in Northwest Louisiana

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					                        Special Northwest Louisiana Newsletter

Note from the Director of Philanthropy- Born in Bienville Parish, I spent my childhood roaming the
woods with my grandfather and falling in love with the outdoors of north Louisiana. I played in Spring
Lake long before there were houses, camped at Caddo and Caney Lakes, walked across a frozen Bayou
Pierre, fished, hunted, photographed the wildlife, and walked the Wild Azalea Trail. Being the son of an
independent oil man, I have lived with the ups and downs of the oil patch. Almost ten years ago I began
working with The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana. My job is to insure that we have the financial
resources to meet the challenges of conservation. We recognize the need for development and at the same
time will do our best to work in partnership to protect the natural habitat of these special places. Northwest
Louisiana has provided strong leadership and financial support for the Conservancy over the years. In this
special newsletter, you will find information about our work and a few of the many people who support us.
I hope that you will continue your support of protection of the natural heritage which is ours and can be for
generations to come. -Don McDowell


   Important Conservation Areas of the Upper West Gulf Coastal Plain
      within the approximate Haynesville Shale Area in Louisiana



                                                              27) Bayou Dorcheat
                                                              32) Delany Mtn.
                                                              35) Corney Dist. Of Kisatchie Natl. Forest
                                                              37) Bodcau
                                                              38) Caddo Lake Complex
                                                              43) Minden Unit of Kisatchie Natl. Forest
                                                              45) Red River Complex
                                                              49) Barksdale and Minded Ammo Plant
                                                              52) Sligo ¾
                                                              56) Bistaneau, Bossier Point, Loggy Bayou
                                                              59) Black Lake Bayou and Red River Salines




                                           Our Supporters

Without the financial resources provided by our
members, we could not have accomplished all of
the good conservation work in northwest
Louisiana. We thank you. This past year,
significant support was received from several
local foundations, including the Biedenharn
Foundation, the Attaway Foundation, the Franks
Foundation, and the Shreveport Bossier
Community Foundation. Generous support was
also provided by SWEPCO and Centerpoint
Energy, along with many individual gifts. From
northwest Louisiana we received one of the
largest gifts in the history of conservation in
Louisiana through the estate of Horace Jeter,
long-time avid birder and friend of conservation.
He first established a Charitable Gift Annuity,
which guaranteed him a life income, and upon
his passing, the Conservancy received a
significant gift to protect the parts of the state which he loved. Photo: Don McDowell with Annuity Donor
Ruth Tupper
                                  North Louisiana Preserves
Summerfield Springs in Claiborne Parish was donated to the Conservancy by Catherine O. Sale. The 653-
acre property is evenly divided between pine and hardwood covered sandy uplands and hardwood
bottomland forests. It is named for the numerous springs emanating from the sandy hills after a rain. Of
particular importance, in the relatively undisturbed portions of the mixed pine and hardwood uplands,
shortleaf pine can be found. Corney Bayou, designated as a Louisiana Natural and Scenic River, runs
through the lower portions of the property. The site is adjacent to the Corney Unit of the Kisatchie National
Forest.

Bayou Dorcheat in Webster Parish is property being donated by James Bransford to honor his family who
lived there for generations. Long recognized as an important river, much of the Dorcheat bottoms have
been altered by incompatible timber management and gravel mining. Acquisition of this area enables the
Conservancy to protect an extensive stand of mature mixed loblolly/shortleaf/hardwood forest habitat.

Caddo Black Bayou consists of 496 acres in Caddo Parish near Rodessa. Acquired in the early 1990’s, this
site was named as the most important conservation target in the area. The xeric sandhill plant community,
considered one of the rarest ecological communities in the Upper West Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion, is the
conservation target of greatest significance at Caddo Black Bayou. The expansive wetland plant
community and the mixed-hardwood/loblolly pine forest habitat found on its sandy soils and slopes are
other features that make this preserve truly significant.

                                             Caddo Lake
“Unique” is a word frequently used to
describe Caddo Lake, located on the border
of Texas and Louisiana. Believed to have
originally formed from a logjam on the Red
River, Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in
Texas. With bald cypress and tupelo trees
for a signature, it is one of only 19 wetlands
“of unique importance” in the United States.
The Conservancy has joined with other
partners to study water release management
from Lake O’ the Pines into Caddo Lake to
determine the best way to increase
regeneration of bald cypress forests, reduce
invasive aquatic plants, and reduce levels of
toxic metals. Our collaborative work will
have an important influence on future
management of all dam releases in the state
of Texas.

                                            Public Co-ops
The Conservancy has long been involved in assisting state and federal agencies with acquiring and
protecting public lands for recreational use such as hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing. In
northwest Louisiana, the Conservancy first worked with partner agencies at Bayou Bodcau and Loggy
Bayou. In recent years, most of our efforts have helped to create, and then add about an additional 5,000
acres to the Red River National Wildlife Refuge. In the coming years, the Conservancy will continue to
work with public agencies and willing private landowners to insure more public lands are set aside for
recreation and conservation.

                     Restoring Forest to Reduce Climate Change
Because trees are known to sequester a great amount of carbon, the restoration of bottomland hardwood
forest to places like the Red River Valley are an important part of the Conservancy’s work to reduce
climate change on a global scale. While these reforestation projects have occurred in other parts of the
world for some time, the Conservancy’s first domestic carbon sequestration project took place in our own
backyard when 500 acres were restored in the Red River Valley through a partnership with Powertree, a
consortium of power companies including SWEPCO and Cleco. It is estimated that 200,000 metric tons of
carbon will be absorbed and stored over 100 years. Additional benefits include protecting regional
biodiversity while reducing run-off into the river. The Louisiana chapter is the only Conservancy state
program to successfully negotiate and complete a carbon project!

If you would like to know more about our work in northwest Louisiana, or how to support the work of the
Conservancy, please contact Don McDowell at 225-338-1040, dmcdowell@tnc.org

				
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