Facilities & Special Units

What is the Coop Unit? The USGS Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit is one of 44 Cooperative Research Units in 40 states. The Cooperative Research Units are cooperative endeavors between the U.S. Geological Survey, state game and fish agencies, Wildlife Management Institute, and in several cases, including Louisiana, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Program was the vision of J. N. Ding Darling. As Director of the Bureau of Biological Survey (the future U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Darling pushed for the cooperative endeavor in an effort to facilitate the training of wildlife biologists and to address applied wildlife and fisheries issues at the state and regional levels. The first units were established under his direction in 1935.

How does it work? As part of the cooperative agreement, the U.S. Geological Survey pays the salary of up to 4 scientists (one position is currently vacant due to a lack of available funds).  The University provides office space, a secretary and other administrative support, and graduate faculty privileges. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provides base funds to assist the research efforts of the research unit. The scientists teach graduate courses, employ graduate students to conduct graduate research projects, serve on other graduate committees, and assist in basic administrative duties/committees of the School.

The Aquaculture Research Station is located on 178 acres south of Baton Rouge and includes 146 experimental ponds totaling 100 surface acres. Scientists conduct research on catfish, oysters, alligators, baitfish, turtles, a variety of freshwater game fish and crawfish.

Complementing the crawfish research is another facility with experimental ponds at the Rice Research Station in southwest Louisiana, the heart of the crawfish-growing region. The goal is to make the aquaculture industry more competitive in the global economy. Research on coastal plants, bred to grow quickly and help Louisiana's receding coastline, is conducted at this facility.

In the State of Louisiana, the forest industry contributes over 50% of the total value of all agricultural, animal and fish/wildlife commodities. In addition to lumber, plywood, OSB and the production of other primary products, valuable secondary products are also produced such as furniture and kitchen cabinets. In 1994 the LSU Agricultural Center established the Louisiana Forest Products Laboratory (LFPL). In 2003 we changed our name to the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center (LFPDC) to better reflect the breadth of our expertise and client base.

The Center, now an integral part of the School of Renewable Natural Resources, provides technical assistance to the primary and value-added processing wood products industries in Louisiana. Since its inception, the LFPDC has made great strides and is currently firmly positioned as one of the most recognized and productive forest products research and outreach centers in the United States.

Lee Memorial Forest with more than 1,200 acres of managed timberland is an important research and teaching resource for the LSU AgCenter. Located between Franklinton and Bogalusa in Washington Parish, the Lee forest began with a 1,000-acre donation from the Great Southern Lumber Company in 1926 and was augmented with a gift of 210 acres from the William A. Knight estate in 1991. The forest provides its own operating budget with income generated from timber sales.