Sunday, December 22, 2013



Louisiana Dept of Worthless Frauds
The LDWF sneaky rivers scam

Scott Roseno w December 20, 2013

Government attempts power grab under guise of protecting



After receiving complaints about all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) driving through a shallow river, a Louisiana

governmental agency decided to step in. The agency’s solution: restricting a large amount of freedom and

greatly expanding its own power.


The agency is the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), which, among other things, protects

rivers that the state legislature deems “natural and scenic” under the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act .  So far, the

Act lists 63 rivers as natural and scenic and hence subject to LDWF’s control. These rivers stretch across much

of the state.


As this article notes, LDWF proposed amending one of its rules to restrict ATV use in one shallow river,

although the rule change would apply to all 63 natural and scenic rivers. That article f ailed to mention that the

rule change would also restrict much more than ATV use. According to the proposed rule change, a permit

would be required in order to use “a motor vehicle or other wheeled or tracked vehicle” on a natural and scenic

river. That means a permit would be required to ride a bicycle through, or drive a small motorboat on, such a

river. Apparently, not even LDWF intended this absurd result, given that it defended this proposed rule change

by arguing that ATVs can damage aquatic life on the bottoms of rivers. The agency said nothing about trying

to restrict bicycle use or boating, although that’s what the rule change would do.


LDWF also wants to expand its powers under the guise of protecting rivers. Under one of LDWF’s rules, its

scenic-rivers regulations apply to activities that occur within 100 feet of — but not beyond — a natural and

scenic river. LDWF wants to eliminate that 100-foot limit on its scenic-rivers jurisdiction. In an effort to calm

Louisianans’ concerns with this attempted power grab, LDWF argued that it always had the power to regulate

activities more than 100 feet f rom a river. According to LDWF, just because one of its rules says that it can

regulate activities within 100 feet of a river, that doesn’t mean the agency can’t regulate activities further away

f rom a river.


Pacific Legal Foundation disagrees, and that’s why we submitted a letter to LDWF, urging it not to adopt these

two rule changes. The first rule change, as noted, would restrict a lot of vehicle use. That is troubling

because the Scenic Rivers Act protects recreational use of rivers, including water-craft usage. The Act also

says that the “normal activities” of landowners are immune f rom LDWF regulations. The broad scope of this

proposed rule change unnecessarily curtails a lot of freedom and property rights.


We also object to LDWF’s attempted power grab. Keeping the agency’s jurisdiction within 100 feet of a river

is a sensible policy because it provides clear guidance to landowners and businesses. Without this 100-foot

limit, LDWF would be free to meddle in all sorts of activities. For example, LDWF could prevent home

construction that local zoning authorities have approved, on the ground that LDWF thinks the construction

might harm a river a mile away. The legislature certainly didn’t intend f or the agency to have this much power.


Contrary to LDWF’s assertion, the Scenic Rivers Act does impose a 100-foot limit on the agency’s power. All

of these concerns aside, this attempt to expand the agency’s power far beyond rivers has absolutely nothing

to do with restricting ATV use inside of a shallow river, which is what prompted the agency to propose these

rule changes in the first place.

This is another thinly veiled attempt by the government to expand its own power in the name of saving the

environment. Because these proposed rule changes are wholly out of proportion to their alleged need, we are

 hopeful that the agency will reconsider them in light of our concerns.


Pacific Legal Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is the first and oldest conservative/libertarian public interest law

firm in the United States.[1] PLF was established for the purpose of defending and promoting

individual and economic freedom in the courts.[2] To that end, PLF attorneys litigate, file amicus curiae 

briefs, and participate in administrative proceedings with the goal of supporting free enterprise

private property rights, balanced environmental regulation, and the principle of limited government.

PLF is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and

contributions to the Foundation qualify for a charitable tax deduction.[3] PLF does not charge for

legal services, but instead provides representation in cases raising important policy issues that go

beyond the narrow interest of the parties before the court.


Incorporated in SacramentoCalifornia, on March 5, 1973, PLF’s staff was originally composed

mainly of individuals who had been a part of then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s welfare reform team.

Operating on a proposed budget of $117,000 for the first 10 months of operation, PLF attorneys

began litigation activities in June 1973 under the direction of Ronald A. Zumbrun,  PLF’s first president.

Over the four decades of PLF’s existence, its attorneys have obtained favorable decisions from many

of the nation’s courts.

More to come


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