Why Zone boundaries on highways and not Parish Lines
October 14, 2015 at 10:16pm
Zone boundaries have to be distinct, enforceable, and easily identifiable. Many Parish boundaries are not. That is why we use roads, waterways, or defined landmarks, and our Law Enforcement Division strongly encourages that.
The line through Evangeline Parish was not my idea, nor was it the boundary that I presented at the 6 public meetings. My intention was to put all of Evangeline Parish that is currently in the Coastal Zone into the East Zone using existing boundaries. However, the Commission insisted on the Hwy 13 boundary.
The Atchafalaya River was also not my idea; the boundary I brought to the 6 public meetings was the old East Zone boundary prior to 2001 of the Houma Navigation Canal. But again, the Commission wanted it moved west, and in many ways, that is better because it doesn't split Terrebonne Parish.
This issue is really no more of a mess than setting the original zone boundaries, or making the changes we made in 2001 or 2012. No boundary is perfect for everyone concerned, so we (or maybe I should say I) try to balance the differing desires as best as we can based on the information available. The challenge for me is that I did not anticipate a potential change in SE LA or changes other than Hwy 14 in SW LA when we designed the 2015 Waterfowl Hunter Opinion survey, and thus we didn't ask hunters for both the Zone AND Parish where they hunted. Consequently, I can't partition the responses into specific locations that would be affected by particular zone changes like I did in 2012. With a sample size of over 7,000, that would have been FAR more representative and useful than this public comment that has not yet reached 250 total responses with only about 120 commenting on the proposed boundary change in SE LA.
And no, I don't know if the public input will mean anything to the Commission given their past actions and comments. It may to some and not to others, but that is out of my control. What I do know is that it definitely won't be a factor if it is not given.