Lake Cocodrie to increase public use fees

Published 12:44 am Sunday, March 29, 2009

FERRIDAY — Bayou Cocodrie National Widlife Refuge is getting in line with other refuges across Louisiana.

To do that, the refuge, which is located in Ferriday, has proposed increasing Annual Public Use Permit fees from $12.50 to $15 per person.

The $12.50 permit fee was first established in 1997, but refuge manager Deisha Norwood said the cost to maintain the refuge has increased every year.

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“The administration and cost of upkeep of the trails and roads is increasing daily,” Norwood said. “That’s where the money is spent.”

Norwood said administration costs have also risen, and the permit fee increase would be a way to recoup some of those costs.

There are five full-time employees at Bayou Cocodrie.

There is also a proposed $5 application fee for any lottery hunts on the refuge, not including the Youth Lottery Hunt and the Special Access Hunt.

“The quota hunts require a little more intensive administrative work and are also more law enforcement intensive,” Norwood said.

She said 80 percent of the fees will remain at the station to fun public use projects, which include the road and trail maintenance as well as boat ramps and other projects.

Comments about the proposal should be sent by mail to Norwood at P.O. Box 1772, Ferriday, LA 71334, no later than April 20. Additionally, Norwood can be reached by phone at 318-336-7119.