Mary Tutwiler

New Iberia insurance executive appointed to White Lake Board

by Mary Tutwiler

New Iberia insurance company vice-president Armond Schwing has been appointed to the White Lake Property Advisory Board by Governor Bobby Jindal. Schwing is currently the state chair for Ducks Unlimited , and fills one of the organization’s slots on the White Lake board. “Ducks Unlimited is the premier wetlands conservation organization in the world,” Schwing says. “Everything I do with DU to help preserve and protect wetlands and biological diversity is what I hopefully can bring to this board.”

White Lake , a 70,000-acre tract of pristine marsh in Vermilion Parish, was donated to the state of Louisiana by British Petroleum in 2002. Part of the agreement hammered out between Governor Foster and BP was to establish a private corporation with a self-perpetuating board of directors to govern the property, a deal that proved tumultuous. State Sen. Joe McPherson filed suit, contending that the property should be under the authority of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. McPherson’s argument prevailed and today, LWF manages the property. The biggest issue for White Lake is attempting to balance public usage with preservation of the pristine wetlands. Currently, there is a lottery for limited use of duck blinds in the fall; the agency is developing a plan for public-use permits for fishing, birding and sightseeing.

“White Lake is an awesome property,” Schwing says. “I’ve hunted all my life, and I’m conservation minded. I see my role as making sure the property is managed for future generations.”