A Blueway in St. Tammany?
The Land Trust for Louisiana is currently working with elected officials and others to begin the process of establishing a Blueway in western St. Tammany Parish. While developing such a project may take a while, initial steps by public agencies are underway to develop a plan. The hope is that this will serve as a template to establish additional Blueways in St. Tammany and in other parishes in Louisiana.
What is a Blueway?
A Blueway is a river trail, a linear paddling trail with public access points (low impact, non-motorized boat launch areas for paddlers).
The plan typically includes plans for a green corridor, or streamside management zone to protect water quality, stabilize riverbanks and maintain scenic views. The majority of the streamside management zone along most paddling trails is typically in private ownership; therefore participation in managing the green corridor along the paddling trail requires voluntary actions by private landowners.
Why is the Land Trust for Louisiana interested in Blueways?
- Preserve stream-side corridors and other buffer zones and natural areas for habitat protection, water quality improvement, scenic views, and wilderness and rural character.
- Protect valuable wildlife habitat focusing on the most critical needs.
- Promote stewardship and conservation of natural areas through education and research opportunities.
- Support responsible ecotourism, recreational opportunities, and other compatible land uses.
Why are cities and parishes interested in Blueways?
- Just like hiking and biking trails, paddling trails make a community a more desirable place to live and play.
- Blueways protect water quality by encouraging protection of stream-side buffers.
- Eco-tourism is important to communities where access to nature is available. Blueways enhance the desirability of a community to visitors.
What role does LTL play in developing a Blueway?
LTL educates elected officials and citizens about the concept of a Blueway and helps to build a coalition of partners (landowners, community groups, local, state and federal agencies, and other land trusts) to achieve the mission and vision.
If private landowners are interested in protecting the property along the rivers and streams, the Land Trust for Louisiana is able to work with them to establish a conservation easement on the property in a way that protects it in perpetuity and, in many cases, provides additional benefits to the landowner. The Land Trust will typically hold the conservation easement and monitor the property to ensure its protection.