The Louisiana Conservationist - May-Jun 1970

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The Louisiana Conservationist magazine, published by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of Louisiana’s natural resources.

Text of The Louisiana Conservationist - May-Jun 1970

  • may-june, 1970

    \ h Q

    LOUISIANAconservationist

  • (EfDlKBDDHA time to rend, and a time tosew; a time to keep silent, anda time to speak,

    Ecclesiastes

    It is highly doubtful that in anygathering of hunters discussingpast hunting seasons and baglimits there would be any una-nimity of satisfaction in thegroup. With the single exceptionof waterfowl, it is possible that agroup of hunters might agree onthe bag and possession limits ofgame birds and animals.Actual selection of the dates

    for hunting seasons within theallowed frameworks often drawsthe fire of some sportsmen. Thisis particularly true of the deerand duck seasons. The Commis-sion has always tried to pleasethe greatest number of huntersin the state in fixing seasons. It

    is impossible to please every-one. Those who are not satisfiedbecome extremely vocal.

    In keeping with a policy thatwas established more than adecade ago, hunters, sportsmen'sclubs, police jury members, leg-islators, and representatives oforganized conservation groups,have the opportunity to speakfreely and in detail to membersof the Commission regarding thesetting of seasons and bag limits.

    I am referring to the publichearings on seasons and baglimits that are scheduled to beheld in Alexandria June 19 and20, at the Ramada Inn.

    This is a public forum whereanyone who wishes to expresshis opinion on hunting seasonsand bag limits will be heard bythe Commission. His statementwill also be tape recorded, andthe full transcript of the hearingwill be carefully reviewed bymembers of the Commission be-fore actual seasons and bag lim-its are fixed.

    Alexandria is the site of thepublic hearings because it is cen-trally located, providing a con-venient location for personsfrom other sections of Louisianato gather and to be heard. Thetwo-day public meeting is de-signed to include a Saturday, inorder that persons who mightnot be able to get away fromtheir work on Friday can do soon Saturday and let their senti-ments be known.

    We feel that this annual two-day public hearing is the placefor sportsmen to sound off andmake their individual or collec-tive views known to the Commis-sion. To forego this opportunityto be heard can only detractfrom expressions of discontentafter seasons have been estab-lished.

    It should be pointed out thatthe Commission also consultswith its biologists at length be-fore final action is taken on def-inite seasons for hunting. Rec-ommendations of biologists areconsidered along with the rec-

    Clark M. Hoffpauer, Director

    ommendations and sentimentsexpressed by those who attendthe public hearings.The end result are hunting sea-

    sons that please the majority ofhunters in the state. That is theprime objective of the Commis-sion when it exercises its au-thority to fix hunting seasondates . . . providing the maxi-mum hunting opportunity andbest possible bag for the greatestnumber of hunters.

    This is not easy to do. Becauseof diversified terrain and thenatural influence of weather onsome species of game birds suchas doves, waterfowl and wood-cock, seasons sometimes openat unseasonable times of theyear.

    These should rightfully becalled bad breaks. They cannotbe anticipated in advance. Hunt-ing regulations necessarily mustbe fixed well in advance, to al-low time for printing of regula-tions. In the case of the migra-tory game birds, seasons mustbe established early in compli-ance with federal regulations.

    In conclusion, I would like tostress that the public hearingsscheduled for June 19 and 20 rep-resent a time for sportsmen to beheard. Those who do not takethe trouble to attend or send arepresentative should keep inmind they have passed up theopportunity to speak and to belistened to.

  • LOUISIANA

    "ublished Bi-Monthly in the interest ofconservation of Louisiana's natural

    'esources by the Wild Life and FisheriesCommission, 400 Royal Street,New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

    CLARK M. HOFFPAUER, Director

    R. K. YANCEY, Asst. Director

    L. S. ST. AMANT, Asst. Director

    SAM MURRAY, Executive Assistant

    TED O'NEIL, Chief, Fur Division

    ROBERT LaFLEUR, Chief, Water PollutionControl Division

    JOE L HERRING, Chief, Fish andCame Division

    ALLAN ENSMINCER, Chief, RefugeDivision

    CHARLES R. SHAW, Pittman-RobertsonCoordinator

    HARRY SCHAFER, Dingell-johnsonCoordinator

    LEONARD NEW, Chief, EnforcementDivision

    TED FORD, Chief, Oyster, WaterBottoms and Seafood Division

    LARRY COOK, Fiscal Officer

    W. C. McCARROLL, Personnel Officer

    RUDY DUVILLE, Building Superintendent

    McFADDEN DUFFY, Information Officer

    I give my pledge as an American tosave and faithfully to defend

    from waste the naturalresources of my country its soiland minerals, its forests, waters

    and wildlife.

    /_J1969 CONSERVATIONCOMMUNICATIONS AWARDThe Louisiana Conservationist won the 1969 Award

    for Conservation Communications, known as theGovernor's Award, sponsored by the NationalWildlife Federation and the Louisiana Wildlife

    ederation, in cooperation with the Sears Foundation.

    JOHN J. McKEITHEN, Governor

    LOUISIANA WILD LIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSIONIERRY G. |ONES, Chairman CameronH. CLAY WRIGHT, Vice-Chairman Evergreen

    |OHN E. KYLE, JR. BerwickJIMMIE THQMPSONHOBSON NORRISCLARENCE A. GUIDRY_JAMES L. WINFREE

    _Alexandria

    _West Monroe

    Houma_Baton Rouge

    IN THIS ISSUE

    The Golden Dawn

    The Clam Story

    Why Beat The Drum.

    Bird of the Month

    Timeless Prowler

    12

    .15

    16

    A Vanishing Heritage

    Specks Before Their Eyes_

    _22

    28

    LOUISIANA CONSERVATIONIST MAGAZINEVOLUME 22 NUMBERS~3-and-* $-(400 ROYAL STREET NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 70130

    Subscription Free to Louisiana Residents

    Upon Written Request

    McFADDEN DUFFY EditorBOBDENNIELYN JOHNSON.JAY DROTT_

    ^Photojournalist_Statf Writer

    Staff Writer

    All photography not otherwise credited, by

    BOB DENNIEKATHLEEN NORRIS Art and Design

    Lithography by CENTURY, NEW ORLEANS

    Permission to reprint material in this publication will be granted provid

    that it is not used for advertising or commercial purposes and providedthat proper credit is given. Contributions and photographs are welcome,but LOUISIANA CONSERVATIONIST cannot be responsible for loss ordamage to unsolicited material. Manuscripts should be addressed toEditor, LOUISIANA CONSERVATIONIST, Wild Life and Fisheries Commissior

    Form 3579 to be sent to LOUISIANA WILD LIFE AND FISHERIESCOMMISSION, 400 Royal St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.

    Second-Class Postage Paid at New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Story and PhotographyBy Lyn Johnson

  • It is the dawn ... a smog-filled dawn that hidesthe sun ... a gray, polluted dawn that illuminatesthe coming destruction of wildlife and man's ownenvironment.

    Yet, in the middle of this ecological crisis, thereis one rare and special place where a goldendawn floods the day, where wildlife and man'smillion-dollar industries live together in harmony.The place is Avery Islandwhere majesticcypress and oak trees draped with Spanish mossgreet the golden dawn; where whitetail deerfeed in lush, green meadows only a few feetfrom oil wells; where thousands of egrets nestacross the road from a pepper sauce factory;where alligators glide down bayous near a saltmine.

    With national emphasis on clean environment,Avery Island is a living example of how man canlive and operate his industries without disturbingthe ecological balance. Maintaining this delicatebalance of industry and nature takes a lot ofcareful planning, but Avery Island proves that itcan be done, that environmental ravishment isnot essential to progress.

    The history of Avery Island is that of progressclosely linked with conservation. To begin with,Avery Island is not an island at all, but a hugesalt dome protruding 1 52 feet out of southwestLouisiana's swamplands. The island's 2500acres, located at Vermillion Bay on the Gulf ofMexico, are surrounded by marshes and PetitAnse Bayou on three sides and by a cypressswamp on the fourth.History begins with recent discoveries ofpottery and basketwork found next to the salt

    that indicate use of a salt spring on the islandby Indians some two thousand years ago. Later,in 1790, a small boy found the salty springwhile deer hunting on the then-named Petit AnseIsland. It became his tiresome chore to carryhome buckets of the brine to boil down. Duringthe war of 1812, John Marsh of New Jerseyerected a salt evaporating plant on the spring.Decades later, during the Civil War, Marsh'sson-in-law Judge Daniel D. Avery, resumed theevaporation operation. Expansion attemptsbrought the discovery of a plug of pure rocksalt 13 feet beneath the spring. The country'sfirst salt mine on Avery Island becameimportant to the Confederate government andwas brought to an abrupt halt by Federalforces. Commercial operations were picked upin 1899 by International Salt Company whichhas mined millions of tons of the 99 percentpure sodium chloride from the five-mile deepdeposit.

    Looking across a placid salt-water pond at therefinery, it is hard to imagine that beneath thefertile earth is an expansive network of rooms,some with cathedral-high ceilings, thatcheckerboard the island's insides.

    With the salt came the pepper, and anothercolorful story.

    Years after the Mexican War of 1848, anAmerican soldier known now only as Gleasonreturned from sunny Mexico to his native NewOrleans where he met an old acquaintance,Edmund Mcllhenny, son-in-law of Daniel Avery.Before leaving, Gleason gave Mcllhenny ahandful of dried pepper pods from southern

  • Mexico and said, "You will find that thesewill add exceptional flavor to your food." Theadvice was true, and Mcllhenny planted someseed