March 4, 2024

For millions of Americans, our private land is our sanctuary—a haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life—a private place we can make and call our own. Nobody knows that better than Tom Manuel. A forester by trade, Tom has made his living managing, cultivating, and protecting his clients’ land.

Tom treats his own land no differently. In 2003, he and his wife bought a large parcel in Ethel, Louisiana (about five miles from their home). When their two kids were young, they’d go out and take family walks, camp, and ride four-wheelers. Now that the kids are grown up, Tom and his wife take walks together and they manage timber for income. By carefully managing his forest, Tom attracts game that he, his family, and their guests enjoy hunting when time permits.

Twice in December 2023, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) game wardens entered Tom’s land without consent, a warrant, or probable cause and confronted first him and then his brother. They were interrogated but both were complying with hunting laws and neither was given a citation.

To vindicate his property rights for himself and all other users of private property in Louisiana, Tom has partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a suit in Louisiana state court that aims to put a stop to these warrantless intrusions once and for all.

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