State Merges 2 Northeast Louisiana Wildlife Management Areas

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana has one fewer wildlife management area after action by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, but hunters haven't lost access to any acreage.

         On a recommendation for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the commission voted Thursday to roll Ouachita WMA into Russell Sage WMA. The combined tract now spans 35,000 acres.
 Times-Picayune’s Todd Masson reports the enlarged area will be managed out of the department's Monroe office.

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         The move will allow the department to save money, according to land-acquisition attorney Thomas Bates.

         "It will eliminate the need for duplicate management and resources in the area," he told the commission. "At one point the WMAs were separated by a smaller tract that we've since acquired."

         There was some discussion among commission members about what to call the WMA, but administrator Robert Love told commissioners Russell Sage was the first WMA the department acquired a half century ago, so he recommended leaving the name in place. The commission agreed, and approved the measure unanimously.

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         The WMA is in Northeast Louisiana.

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