What makes this preserve unique?
Bayou Dorcheat is one of the most intact riverine floodplains in this region containing approximately equal portions of high quality bottomland forest along Bayou Dorcheat, and a variety of mixed pine and hardwood upland forest conditions. Portions of the mesic mixed hardwood-loblolly pine forest have apparently never been clear cut and support numerous very large white oaks, and thus provide a good old-growth reference location for that habitat type. Because there are no maintained trails, this preserve is not open for public visitation.
The tract is located in Webster Parish, approximately 20 miles north of Minden, within the Bayou Dorcheat floodplain. Bayou Dorcheat was identified as a freshwater conservation priority sites during ecoregional planning.
This preserve was made possible through a series of donations by the late James W. Bransford. Most of the 1,140 acres that comprise Bayou Dorcheat Preserve lie west of Bayou Dorcheat, but there are also two small, disjunct parcels on the east side.
What TNC Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana is focusing on restoration and management of the full suite of native habitats found within and adjacent to Bayou Dorcheat. Much of the Dorcheat bottoms have been altered due to timber management or gravel mining and this tract represents one of the finest remaining examples of bottomland forest and mesic mixed loblolly pine-hardwood forest remaining in northwestern Louisiana. TNC’s forest management program has focused on restoration of shortleaf pine/oak-hickory woodland, one of the most altered natural forest types in Louisiana, and that historically occurred on a significant portion of this preserve. Our conservation work at Bayou Dorcheat complements our work with partners including the Louisiana Army National Guard Training Site (former Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant) near Minden.