Thursday, May 17, 2012

St. Tammany (LA) blueway proposed

     A plan to promote three St. Tammany parish (LA) rivers as blueways--water recreation trails--was presented to the Bayou Haystackers Paddling Club, a group of canoe and kayak enthusiasts from across south Louisiana meeting in Hammond (LA) Wednesday night.
     Part of the plan encourages landowners along portions of three streams--the Bogue Falaya, the Tchefuncte and Abita rivers--to preserve the riparian environment with conservation easements or outright land donations, said Kathleen W. Stites, a landscape architect and acting executive director of the Land Trust for Southeast Louisiana.
     Conservation easements can result in significant tax benefits through reduced income or estate taxes, Stites said.
     BHPC members, many of them in the past having paddled the rivers to be designated water trails, questioned Stites closely about increasing access to the streams and the availability of parking at established launches.  Conflicts between paddlers and speeding motorboats on the wide rivers were discussed.
     Stites said she is seeking grant money for maps and mileposts along the blueway and is hoping for a big turnout by paddlers in support of the blueway when she will make a presentation at a meeting of the Covington City Council.

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