when you think of law enforcement, you may not automatically consider the brave men and women of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, but these highly trained and dedicated professionals put their lives on the line to protect both the people who live, work and play in America’s delta, and the unique array of fish and wildlife that calls this region home. Delta Guardians, the third program in Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Alive! In America’s Delta series, premieres Wednesday, January 8 at 7PM followed by Black Bear Comeback at 7:30PM. Delta Guardians will have an encore showing on LPB HD on Sunday, January 12 at 5:30PM. WLAE-TV32 in New Orleans will air the program on Friday, January 10 at 8:30PM.
During times of disaster, these “delta guardians” are most often the first to the scene. They were the unsung heroes in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, rescuing thousands trapped after the storms, but the larger job they are called to do is even more daunting. Wildlife and Fisheries agents use modern tools and techniques to police and prosecute poachers, educate people about water and firearm safety, and protect seafood and wildlife populations and their habitats.
Colonel Jeff Mayne, the head of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, has 235 slots for officers in his division but there are currently 42 vacancies that he hopes to fill as soon as possible. He says he needs every agent he can get to fulfill his department’s mission.
“You run into somebody in the grocery store and they think all you do is check hunting licenses and fishing licenses,” Mayne said. “The actuality is that we do that but also do everything from white collar investigations in the seafood industry, tax evasion, money laundering, public safety on our state’s waterways to DWI enforcement.”
According to Mayne, there is definitely an element of danger involved when you are dealing with people who are armed or put into situations where the elements are against you.
“When you have agents who are getting 40 miles offshore in ten-foot seas trying to jump from one boat to another boat, sometimes it gets a little hairy,” Mayne said.
This program follows these defenders of America’s delta deep into the swamps, forests, marshes, and coastal waters of Louisiana’s wetlands. Witness tireless - and heroic - efforts to protect Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources and the people who use them for recreation or commercial gain.
The first two programs in the series will also premiere in New Orleans on WLAE-TV32 in January. The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return will air on Friday, January 17 at 8:30PM and Black Bear Comeback will air on Friday, January 3 at 8:30PM.
Underwriting for this program was provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
or call (800) 272-8161, ext. 4274. You can also visit the website at lpb.org/alive.
|Published: January 06, 2014
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