Why the Live Oak Farm ALE program is important for Louisiana

Land Trust for Louisiana has some fantastic news to share about a project we’ve been working on for many years now: the final easement paperwork for Live Oak Farm in Vermilion Parish is officially signed! This ensures that nearly 6,000 acres of prime rice land will be preserved in perpetuity, protecting wildlife and a way of life that is characteristically Louisiana.

It’s an exciting moment for the Land Trust, the Godchaux family, and our project partners. And it’s cause for all of us to celebrate! We’ve shared pictures and news from Live Oak Farm before, so as a refresher — this 100-year old, multi-generational family-run rice farm will be the site of Louisiana’s first Agricultural Land Easement (ALE). It is also one of the first-ever funded Louisiana Outdoors Forever projects, a new groundbreaking program for conservation in our state that holds tremendous promise.

The ALE program is a federal program that pays farmers to keep farming through a conservation easement. For eight years now, the Land Trust has been working with The Conservation Fund and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to operationalize this program at Live Oak Farm. The 5,800 acre farm will be conserved in its entirety and Land Trust for Louisiana will hold the easement in perpetuity. In addition to ALE, we worked with The Conservation Fund to write grants and raise money from a variety of other funders including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Wildlife Foundation, and the Louisiana Outdoors Forever program, which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

As stewards of the easement at Live Oak Farm, we’ll be working with the Godchaux family year after year to see that rice and wildlife continue to thrive at the farm, as they have for so many years. We’re so thankful for everyone’s hard work on this project, and especially to the Godchauxs for their generous and patient involvement. I can’t say enough about how honored we feel to be part of this tremendous effort to preserve such a special place and a crucial way of life in Louisiana. 

Rice farming is an important part of our history and culture, and contributes greatly to our economy. These lands are also hugely important as refuge habitats for coastal birds that are endangered by coastal habitat loss. It is our hope that, with this first project under our belt, more farmers and more money will come into the program and help us conserve one of Louisiana’s most important natural resources: rice farms. 

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Why the Live Oak Farm ALE program is important for Louisiana

Land Trust for Louisiana has some fantastic news to share about a project we’ve been working on for many years now: the final easement paperwork for Live Oak Farm in Vermilion Parish is officially signed! This ensures that nearly 6,000 acres of prime rice land will be preserved in perpetuity, protecting wildlife and a way

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