For over 100 years we have owned over 40,000 acres within the Atchafalaya River Basin. This land is abundant with cypress-tupelo swamps teeming with migratory birds, alligators, crawfish, deer, and numerous other wildlife species. Often, this acreage has poor access and an unpredictable flood regime making it difficult to effectively manage its natural resources. Still, we hold on to this property because we recognize the importance of conserving and protecting it.
During the summer of 2015, we sold 5,359 acres in the Atchafalaya Basin to the Nature Conservancy as part of their Atchafalaya River Basin Initiative. That initiative includes a public-private partnership with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and their Atchafalaya Basin Program. The Conservancy plans to install restoration features on acquired tracts to improve water flow through the forest that will in turn improve fishing, bird habitat, and forests for people and nature. It was also very important to A. Wilbert’s Sons that the Nature Conservancy was interested in preserving the fishing and wildlife opportunities of the property as well as using the land as a base to conduct scientific research.
Because of this strong desire to conserve and protect this property, there was a strong mutual interest to work together. According to our Chairman, Klein Kirby, “We feel this transaction will support our overall effort to improve habitats and recognize the importance of private land stewardship. We’re happy to be a partner with The Nature Conservancy in this effort.”
Keith Ouchley, director of The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana, added “We’re humbled by the opportunity to deepen our roots in this incredible area. We’re committed to conserving and restoring this land for the long-term. We have the ability to help the Atchafalaya River Basin thrive for generations to come, ensuring that people of the region and beyond have an opportunity to continue enjoying the many fish and wildlife resources and benefits the Basin provides.”
A. Wilbert’s Sons is grateful to be able to work with and support the mission of such a wonderful organization in the Nature Conservancy, and we are confident that the property will be preserved for generations to come.