To start off, i will bump this post everyday for quite some time. I find this topic interesting, and i want to know where all the fire went that was present throughout this thread.
I read pretty much everything minus a few rants here and there, and here are my thoughts.
This will rattle some feathers.
Concerning the guns that Delta Waterfowl donated to the Boy Scouts. Say what you want, but i think that is pretty ridiculous. With a name like 'Delta Waterfowl' i would hope that you can find a better way (maybe something that involves the delta or waterfowl) to use donated money than buy pellet guns for some boy scouts. Yes you can make the argument that it was for the kids and you had a big return (imaginary) on your your members donations, but i think an organization as big as the boy scouts could do a fundraiser to buy themselves pellet guns. You did state it was less than $2000, but it is the principle of the fact. Duck hunting is much more than just shooting a gun. I like the idea of supplying wood duck box materials, and have them assemble, place, and maintain them. This gives them much more of a 'Waterfowl' experience than shooting a pellet gun. It also shows them the benefit and ease of use of public land.
Delta or Ducks Unlimited would have no interest in restoring this swamp. Our state government wants nothing to do with it so why would it benefit them to do so. Plus i think it is a little too far south for DU's liking.
Throughout this thread, no one tossed out any numbers for the diversion. From a report in 2001, the estimated cost all the way to phase II was ~$50 million. The link below from 2014 shows an estimated cost of $186 million. So something happened that more than tripled the price. I know thats a lengthy timespan between estimates but wow. https://www.restorethegulf.gov/sites/default/files/Mississippi%20River%20Reintroduction%20into%20Maurepas%20Swamp.pdf
Everyone keeps saying to spray spray spray. From my understanding, the chemical kills the salvania, but it just comes right back. We are talking about thousands and thousands of acres. Even with a huge crew, by the time they 'finish' spraying once they would have to start over. So if spraying is the answer, a new chemical needs to be made.
Is there any validity to LDWF turning down the salvania machine? If so, it is understandable that they would not want to lose their contract to an extent. But maybe since the problem is so bad at Maurepas, it should be considered a special project and allow the machines to be reproduced and used in that area. The area could also be used as a test subject for the salavania control.
Also, if the machine works as they say it does, it would make more sense for the state to reward him handsomely for coming up with this design and buy the patent. In the long run it saves money running a machine that kills the salvania permanently versus using spray as a bandaid.