Angelle honored for 48 years of natural resources work

Breaux Bridge – After serving more than 40 years on the St. Martin Water and Soil Conservation District, Pedro Angelle stepped down from his post.

Praise was bountiful for Angelle at a retirement ceremony held at the St. Martin Agriculture building held Wednesday March 25.

State Rep. Fred Mills read a letter of commendation from the Louisiana Legislature that outlined Angelle’s many years of service.

“Angelle exemplifies a genuine dedication to promote the awareness of conserving the natural resources of the parish he has lived in all his life,” Mills recited. “The diversity and complexity of the conservation needs of the district has never been an obstacle for his loyal service to the citizens of the district.”

As a charter member of the St. Martin Soil and Water Conservation District, Angelle was instrumental in implementing the Upper Bayou Teche Watershed Project and the Upper Bayou Vermilion Watershed, which, among many purposes, provide for flood protection to the surrounding communities.

Over the past 48 years, Mr. Angelle has worked closely with many local, state and federal agencies in his effort to protect the natural resources in St. Martin Parish.

During his tenure as SWCD chairman, Angelle helped to enact several projects to protect Lake Martin. Angelle worked with the St. Martin Parish Government to introduce carp (grass-eating fish) to overcome the aquatic vegetation problem at Lake Martin. With the assistance of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Martin Parish Government, a 3,000-foot retaining fence was built prior to the introduction of carp into Lake Martin.

He has served as vice-chairman of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts. He served nine years on the Louisiana State Soil and Water Conservation Committee and as the Chairman from 1997 to 2002. He has chaired the Resource Conservation Planning and Application Committee at the annual LACD Conventions for many years.

After attending SLI (currently UL at Lafayette), Angelle entered the military during World War II and served in the Chemical Warfare Service.

He served eleven years in the Louisiana National Guard. He also served as an instructor in the Veterans’ On-Farm Training Program.

His career branched out into five years as St. Martin Parish Farm Bureau and six years as sanitation engineer for the St. Martin Parish Health Unit. In 1958, he purchased a dairy farm and operated it until 1973.

In 1973, he accepted the position of General Manager of the Breaux Bridge Sugar Cooperative, serving in this capacity until 1985. From 1985-87, he was employed by Agri-Fuels, Inc.

Upon Angelle’s retirement, St. Martinville rice and crawfish farmer Jeff Durand will serve as the St. Martin SWCD chairman. Also serving on the board are Johnny Guirard, Curry Albert and Rose Hollier.

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