Louisiana Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program Updated:04/2022

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to finalize a programmatic safe harbor agreement for the state of Louisiana and received a permit from the USFWS to administer this program.

This permit allows LDWF to enroll non-Federal properties in the program by entering into Safe Harbor Management Agreements (SHMAs) with landowners.  

Once approved by LDWF, the SHMA outlines a cooperating landowner’s baseline number of RCW groups, voluntary RCW management activities and timetables for their implementation.  In exchange for entering into a SHMA, landowners receive a Certificate of Inclusion which authorizes the incidental take of any RCW group or habitat that is above the landowner’s baseline responsibilities.

The baseline number, or number of RCW groups present on the property at the time of enrollment, is determined by a survey completed by qualified personnel experienced in RCW surveys.  The baseline number of groups can be zero and is subject to approval by LDWF and the USFWS. 

Upon signing their SHMA the landownervoluntarily agrees to manage for their baseline RCW groups and associated foraging habitat.  If, after entering into a SHMA, the number of RCW groups increases on the landowner's property due to their beneficial and voluntary management, they are not responsible for those above-baseline groups. 

When signing their SHMA, landowners voluntarily agree to manage for the RCW, by choosing 1 or more of 5 management options, each of which provides a net conservation benefit to the RCW. These management options are:

  • forest management,
  • hardwood midstory control,
  • prescribed fire,
  • RCW population management and
  • RCW cavity installation and maintenance. 

LDWF understands that these management actions can be costly and helps landowners indentify cost-share programs that can provide financial assistance for RCW management activities. 

Contact Louisiana Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LouisianaLandCAN.
Louisiana Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program is not employed by or affiliated with the Louisiana Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.


Contact Louisiana Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program

Eric Baka
RCW Safe Harbor Coordinator
1995 Shreveport Hwy.
Pineville, LA  71360
Phone: (318) 487-5885

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Louisiana