Photo by Danny Breaux.
Left to Right:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2001
Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge in Slidell, Louisiana has received a $38,000 grant from the State of Louisiana’s Office of Rural Development. A trail of about a mile long will be constructed that allows for handicap access to the refuge and provides a scenic walking trail through the refuge’s bottomland hardwood forest.
"Even though most of the refuge is accessible only by boat, about 12,000 people visit Bogue Chitto annually," said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. "The new trail will help increase public access for hunting, fishing, bird-watching, and photography.
Two trails will be located off Interstate 59 at Exit 11, Pearl River Turnaround. The western trail (west of the Turnaround) is the one currently under construction, and it will be open to the public for foot traffic and handicapped accessibility. Construction of the western trail is expected to take 3 to 6 months. The eastern trail (east of the Turnaround) is being cleared and will have observation scopes on the piers adjacent to the trail. This trail, which will be used for public recreation, environmental education, and biological studies, will also have interpretive signs.
"The western trail will be the first official trail that allows for handicap access to the refuge," said Lyndon Bijou, refuge manager. "All terrain vehicle (ATV) use will be allowed for the handicapped on this trail. For the general public, it will be open to foot traffic."
Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge is a 36,477-acre refuge of bottomland hardwood forests. Some endangered and threatened species on the refuge include the bald eagle, ringed-sawback turtle, gopher tortoise, and inflated heelsplitter mussel. Other species include migratory waterfowl, deer, turkeys, rabbits, racoons, and minks. Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, birding, and canoeing are among the recreational activities offered on the refuge.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices, 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 fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
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