For Immediate Release
January 5, 1999

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404/679-7291

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE MOVES TO ESTABLISH
LAKE HOUMA UNIT IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to move ahead on its proposal to establish the Lake Houma Unit in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.

The Service has completed a final environmental assessment and land protection plan that recommends the acquisition of approximately 1,500 acres of fish and wildlife habitats on and around Lake Houma, immediately north of the city of Houma. According to the Service's Southeast Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton, the proposed refuge unit would be administered and managed by the staff of Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge, which is located about 5 miles southwest of Houma.

"The establishment of the Lake Houma Unit will be a positive step in protecting additional habitat for the benefit of wintering waterfowl, wood ducks, neotropical migratory birds, and a diversity of other wildlife," said Hamilton. "The Lake Houma Unit would also provide a quality sportfishing experience for the general public, as well as opportunities for environmental education and interpretation and other compatible wildlife-oriented recreational activities."

Copies of the final environmental assessment and land protection plan are now available to the public and can be obtained by writing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 420, Atlanta, Georgia 30345 or by telephone at 1-800-419-9582.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprising more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

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#: R99-002


1999 News Releases

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