Please call Legislators and rebut claims by property owners

There has been a call-to-action by some property owners to oppose HB 391. We need you to call Legislators and rebut their claims with facts and a willingness to compromise.

Click here to contact legislators. Emailing them is good, but calling them is better.

 

Below in italics are talking points released by property owners.

Below in bold are our rebuttals to these talking points.

 

Property owners: This bill will result in MORE conflicts on the ground.

LaSC: This comes off as a threat and is quite unbecoming of a group trying to paint our supporters as “radical.” This statement is basically saying that property owners will direct their employed guards to refuse to abide by the new law and continue to harass anglers anyway. Who sounds radical now?

 

Property owners: I’ll have fishermen in the duck ponds I own or lease!

LaSC: Property owners are trying to pit fishermen against duck hunters. LaSC wants to include any and all Legislative provisions that would satisfy duck hunters. LaSC representatives have met with Rep. Kevin Pearson, among other Legislators, and have asked for certain protections for duck hunters to be added to the bill.

LaSC wants to work with duck hunters – not against them. Do not let this diversion tactic work.

 

Property owners: You are taking away my property rights without paying for it.

LaSC: Apart from public money going toward the aquatic management of these areas….

Apart from taxpayers paying for coastal restoration projects on these areas….

And apart from the property right of being able to restrict public access to tidal water existing in Louisiana while not existing in most other states and countries….

Louisiana Sea Grant met with the Louisiana Sportsmen’s Coalition and has documented our support for many measures which would compensate property owners for allowing public access. Yes, these measures are not written into the current form of HB 391, but we are open to compromise.

 

Property owners: Go fix the state’s budget shortfall, not add to it by subjecting the state to lawsuits from landowners!

LaSC: Contrary to popular belief, government can, in fact, do two things at once.

Threatening the state to not do what’s right because entities will challenge the law in court is, again, not very becoming. Really, how much would a couple lawsuits add to the state’s estimated $700 million shortfall?

And by the way, the state is losing millions in tourism dollars every year specifically because of our current law, so even with possible lawsuits, opening up access will be a net positive for our state economically.

 

Property owners: The current status is NOT affecting fishing licenses! The number of in-state and out-of-state fishing licenses sold in LA has gone up every year.

LaSC: LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet stated in the November 17, 2017 edition of Louisiana Public Square that the number of fishermen in Louisiana have declined in recent years.

 

Property owners: Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation on publicly accessible waters and has considerably more than our neighboring states.

LaSC: Louisiana is known worldwide as “Sportsman’s Paradise.” Our fishing is famous around the globe. Louisiana has roughly half of all of the wetlands in the lower 48 states. So if allowing the vast majority of Louisiana’s coastal mashes to be privately owned drops Louisiana down to fifth, why would that be something to brag about?

In many areas of our coastal zone, there are very few public places to fish. And where there are public places to fish, reaching them can be difficult or impossible because many property owners have closed private waters that serve as the highway to public waters.