PROGRAMS TO support Louisiana wildlife and forestry got a boost recently when the LSU AgCenter officially dedicated its new research and Extension center at the Idlewild Research Station at Clinton, La.

The Idlewild Station already was part of a statewide network of research facilities operated by the LSU AgCenter. But the new facilities will house a variety of LSU AgCenter research and Extension faculty. They also mark a move toward greater emphasis on programs dedicated to forestry and wildlife at the facility.

The research station, under the direction of Dearl Sanders, encompasses 1,800 acres, including 300 acres in improved pasture, 150 acres in open grass, 70 acres in lakes and ponds, 1,100 acres in woodlands, 50 acres in tree fruit research and 50 acres in deer impoundments.

Research includes work with peaches and other tree fruit, beef cattle, weed control and wildlife, Sanders said. The station features a herd of 220 captive whitetail deer and 58 captive red deer.

“Our research in wildlife and forestry is critical for the entire state,” said Paul Coreil, vice chancellor and director of Extension with the LSU AgCenter.

The facility will continue to house the staff of the LSU AgCenter's research station as well as become the new home of the East Feliciana Parish Cooperative Extension Service offices, according to Pam Hodson, LSU AgCenter regional director.

“This is one of the first facilities to merge the research and Extension activities,” Hodson said.