- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources has created 30 primitive campsites in the Atchafalaya Basin that are accessible only by boat.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1hh6e73 ) that the department created the campsites on undeveloped, publicly owned properties so people can use the sites without worrying about trespassing on private property.

The state’s Atchafalaya Basin Program, which announced the campsites this month, has cleared out the camping areas and offers online maps and coordinates of the sites.

Atchafalaya Basin Program Director Don Haydel said the campsite project began in 2011, and the consensus among those interested in basin camping was to have only primitive campsites with minimal amenities.

“They just wanted a location that we could plot on a map and to leave it as primitive and natural as possible. We did install a marker post and a fire ring at each site,” Haydel said.

The regional chapter of the Boy Scouts of America was one of several groups involved in choosing the locations, with an eye toward helping scouts experience new areas of the vast swamp, said Ben Pierce, with the Boy Scout’s Evangeline Area Council.

Rachel Adams, the event coordinator for Lafayette outdoor shop Pack & Paddle, which plans group and private camping trips in the area, said the announcement of the new campsites was “awesome.”

“Most of the land in the Basin is privately owned,” Adams said. “So, usually, we can only do day trips. Now, we’ll be able to stay overnight.”

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com