The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) will begin the process of setting the 2020-21 hunting seasons and accompanying rules and regulations at its January meeting in Baton Rouge on Jan. 9. The commission will consider notices of intent (NOI) presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 hunting season, 2020-21 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2021 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2020-21 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations at the January meeting.
The public will be able to view the NOI after they are adopted at the January meeting by going to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ action-items . The notices of intent indicate the seasons, rules and regulations with which LDWF intends to regulate the 2020-21 hunting seasons.
However, it is only the first step in the process. The commission can propose changes to the recommended NOI during the January meeting. It may also consider and propose amendments to the NOI during its February and March meetings. During its May meeting, the commission makes its final decision on the NOI and all previously conditionally adopted amendments. No changes to the NOI will be considered or adopted unless directed by the Louisiana Legislative Oversight Committee.
Should no changes be made and the oversight committee ratifies, the NOI becomes final rule, which is usually accomplished by July. Public comment is another important and vital step in the process. It will be accepted on the NOIs at the January, February and March commission meetings as well as on any amendments made by the commission.
Public comment can also be submitted during the process through March 5 by mail or e-mail. In addition, LDWF will hold public meetings to discuss the NOI in mid to late February at venues throughout the state. A public hearing on any amendments passed during the February and March commission meetings will be held between April 20-30 with comments presented to the commission in May.
“We want the public to participate in our hunting season rules and regulations process as much as possible,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “That’s why we make available so many times in which the public can comment, either in person or by writing. It’s important that we get that public input. It’s also important for us to explain to the public how the hunting regulations were formulated so they can understand exactly why we put them in place. We may not always agree but we certainly want to listen to each and every comment or concern from our state’s hunters.’’
For more information on the hunting season rules and regulation process or to comment, contact Tommy Tuma at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov.