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Lake life

The Louisiana Conservationist

There was a time in Louisiana when, if you wanted to read about hunting, fishing, Louisiana outdoor cooking, seafood or the like, there was only one good source of information, and we looked forward to it each month: The Louisiana Conservationist. Gone, but not forgotten.

That was also back in the day when you got one television station, maybe two if you had big enough rabbit ears. Or unless you were rich enough to subscribe to Field & Stream, but that was mostly about Yankee outdoors. Okay, maybe it wasn’t THAT long ago. But the Conservationist was around a long, long time.

Unfortunately, the last issue of the Louisiana Conservationist was printed in the Spring of 2010. Like many things, it was the victim of budget concerns because of the high price of printing, distribution and the cost that had to be incurred to put it together. Subscription revenues would not nearly cover those costs.

This is an early edition of the Louisiana Conservationist

This is the March, 1949 edition of the Louisiana Conservationist, and no, that isn’t me on the cover…

The magazine was also a victim of the times which gobbled up print and shredded it in light of faster, more efficient digital delivery — such as you are reading now. This type of media is available on demand and a story and photo can be distributed in a matter of minutes this way rather than a matter of months the old way.

It’s still sad to see such a part of Louisiana’s outdoor heritage go away. It was published, after all, for 87 years to promote the outdoors and the department’s involvement in fish and wildlife resource management and conservation mission.

In the words of LDWF secretary Robert Barham, “It was a wonderful magazine that had interesting, educational articles on the work the department conducted, along with excellent photos to illustrate the subject matter. I would save the old copies to compare with new issues as an indicator of how fishing and hunting changed over time.

Me, too.

LDWF has shifted the department’s news and information distribution to align with present day trends. A limited “Conservationist” is on-line at http://louisianaconservationist.org

Note: Special thanks for helping pull this information together goes to Bo Boehringer, Public Information Director, Office of Wildlife, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries!

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