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Phone Answering Service in Louisiana

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    • 1 to 3 days

      New Orleans

      24/7 Voicemail Reception

      9 – 5 Live Answering

      24/7 Custom Solutions

      Starts at $20/month

  • NEW ORLEANS

  • ABBEVILLE

  • ABITA SPRINGS

  • ACME

  • ADDIS

  • AIMWELL

  • AKERS

  • ALBANY

  • ALEXANDRIA

  • AMA

  • AMELIA

  • AMITE

  • ANACOCO

  • ANGIE

  • ANGOLA

  • ARABI

  • ARCADIA

  • ARCHIBALD

  • ARNAUDVILLE

  • ASHLAND

  • ATHENS

  • ATLANTA

  • AVERY ISLAND

  • BAKER

  • BALDWIN

  • BALL

  • BARATARIA

  • BARKSDALE AFB

  • BASILE

  • BASKIN

  • BASTROP

  • BATCHELOR

  • BATON ROUGE

  • BELCHER

  • BELL CITY

  • BELLE CHASSE

  • BELLE ROSE

  • BELMONT

  • BENTLEY

  • BENTON

  • BERNICE

  • BERWICK

  • BETHANY

  • BIENVILLE

  • BLANCHARD

  • BOGALUSA

  • BONITA

  • BOOTHVILLE

  • BORDELONVILLE

  • BOSSIER CITY

  • BOURG

  • BOUTTE

  • BOYCE

  • BRAITHWAITE

  • BRANCH

  • BREAUX BRIDGE

  • BRITTANY

  • BROUSSARD

  • BRUSLY

  • BUNKIE

  • BURAS

  • BURNSIDE

  • BUSH

  • CADE

  • CALHOUN

  • CALVIN

  • CAMERON

  • CAMPTI

  • CARENCRO

  • CARVILLE

  • CASTOR

  • CECILIA

  • CENTER POINT

  • CENTERVILLE

  • CHALMETTE

  • CHARENTON

  • CHASE

  • CHATAIGNIER

  • CHATHAM

  • CHAUVIN

  • CHENEYVILLE

  • CHOUDRANT

  • CHURCH POINT

  • CLARENCE

  • CLARKS

  • CLAYTON

  • CLINTON

  • CLOUTIERVILLE

  • COLFAX

  • COLLINSTON

  • COLUMBIA

  • CONVENT

  • CONVERSE

  • COTTON VALLEY

  • COTTONPORT

  • COUSHATTA

  • COVINGTON

  • CREOLE

  • CROWLEY

  • CROWVILLE

  • CULLEN

  • CUT OFF

  • DARROW

  • DELCAMBRE

  • DELHI

  • DELTA

  • DENHAM SPRINGS

  • DEQUINCY

  • DERIDDER

  • DES ALLEMANDS

  • DESTREHAN

  • DEVILLE

  • DODSON

  • DONALDSONVILLE

  • DONNER

  • DOWNSVILLE

  • DOYLINE

  • DRY CREEK

  • DRY PRONG

  • DUBACH

  • DUBBERLY

  • DULAC

  • DUPLESSIS

  • DUPONT

  • DUSON

  • ECHO

  • EDGARD

  • EFFIE

  • EGAN

  • ELIZABETH

  • ELM GROVE

  • ELMER

  • ELTON

  • EMPIRE

  • ENTERPRISE

  • EPPS

  • ERATH

  • EROS

  • ERWINVILLE

  • ESTHERWOOD

  • ETHEL

  • EUNICE

  • EVANGELINE

  • EVANS

  • EVERGREEN

  • FAIRBANKS

  • FARMERVILLE

  • FENTON

  • FERRIDAY

  • FISHER

  • FLATWOODS

  • FLORA

  • FLORIEN

  • FLUKER

  • FOLSOM

  • FORDOCHE

  • FOREST

  • FOREST HILL

  • FORT NECESSITY

  • FORT POLK

  • FRANKLIN

  • FRANKLINTON

  • FRENCH SETTLEMENT

  • FRIERSON

  • GALLIANO

  • GARDEN CITY

  • GARDNER

  • GARYVILLE

  • GEISMAR

  • GEORGETOWN

  • GHEENS

  • GIBSLAND

  • GIBSON

  • GILBERT

  • GILLIAM

  • GLENMORA

  • GLOSTER

  • GLYNN

  • GOLDEN MEADOW

  • GOLDONNA

  • GONZALES

  • GORUM

  • GRAMBLING

  • GRAMERCY

  • GRAND CANE

  • GRAND CHENIER

  • GRAND COTEAU

  • GRAND ISLE

  • GRANT

  • GRAY

  • GRAYSON

  • GREENSBURG

  • GREENWELL SPRINGS

  • GREENWOOD

  • GRETNA

  • GROSSE TETE

  • GUEYDAN

  • HACKBERRY

  • HAHNVILLE

  • HALL SUMMIT

  • HAMBURG

  • HAMMOND

  • HARRISONBURG

  • HARVEY

  • HAUGHTON

  • HAYES

  • HAYNESVILLE

  • HEFLIN

  • HESSMER

  • HESTER

  • HINESTON

  • HODGE

  • HOLDEN

  • HOMER

  • HORNBECK

  • HOSSTON

  • HOUMA

  • HUSSER

  • IDA

  • INDEPENDENCE

  • INNIS

  • IOTA

  • IOWA

  • JACKSON

  • JAMESTOWN

  • JARREAU

  • JEANERETTE

  • JENA

  • JENNINGS

  • JIGGER

  • JONES

  • JONESBORO

  • JONESVILLE

  • JOYCE

  • KAPLAN

  • KEATCHIE

  • KEITHVILLE

  • KELLY

  • KENNER

  • KENTWOOD

  • KILBOURNE

  • KINDER

  • KRAEMER

  • KROTZ SPRINGS

  • KURTHWOOD

  • LA PLACE

  • LABADIEVILLE

  • LACASSINE

  • LACOMBE

  • LAFAYETTE

  • LAFITTE

  • LAKE ARTHUR

  • LAKE CHARLES

  • LAKE PROVIDENCE

  • LAKELAND

  • LAROSE

  • LAWTELL

  • LEBEAU

  • LEBLANC

  • LECOMPTE

  • LEESVILLE

  • LENA

  • LEONVILLE

  • LETTSWORTH

  • LIBUSE

  • LILLIE

  • LISBON

  • LIVINGSTON

  • LIVONIA

  • LOCKPORT

  • LOGANSPORT

  • LONGLEAF

  • LONGSTREET

  • LONGVILLE

  • LORANGER

  • LOREAUVILLE

  • LOTTIE

  • LULING

  • LUTCHER

  • LYDIA

  • MADISONVILLE

  • MAMOU

  • MANDEVILLE

  • MANGHAM

  • MANSFIELD

  • MANSURA

  • MANY

  • MARINGOUIN

  • MARION

  • MARKSVILLE

  • MARRERO

  • MARTHAVILLE

  • MATHEWS

  • MAUREPAS

  • MAURICE

  • MELROSE

  • MELVILLE

  • MER ROUGE

  • MERAUX

  • MERMENTAU

  • MERRYVILLE

  • METAIRIE

  • MILTON

  • MINDEN

  • MITTIE

  • MONROE

  • MONTEGUT

  • MONTEREY

  • MONTGOMERY

  • MOORINGSPORT

  • MORA

  • MOREAUVILLE

  • MORGAN CITY

  • MORGANZA

  • MORROW

  • MORSE

  • MOUNT AIRY

  • MOUNT HERMON

  • NAPOLEONVILLE

  • NATALBANY

  • NATCHEZ

  • NATCHITOCHES

  • NEGREET

  • NEW IBERIA

  • NEW LLANO

  • NEW ROADS

  • NEW SARPY

  • NEWELLTON

  • NOBLE

  • NORCO

  • NORWOOD

  • OAK GROVE

  • OAK RIDGE

  • OAKDALE

  • OBERLIN

  • OIL CITY

  • OLLA

  • OPELOUSAS

  • OSCAR

  • OTIS

  • PAINCOURTVILLE

  • PALMETTO

  • PARADIS

  • PATTERSON

  • PAULINA

  • PEARL RIVER

  • PELICAN

  • PERRY

  • PIERRE PART

  • PILOTTOWN

  • PINE GROVE

  • PINE PRAIRIE

  • PINEVILLE

  • PIONEER

  • PITKIN

  • PLAIN DEALING

  • PLAQUEMINE

  • PLATTENVILLE

  • PLAUCHEVILLE

  • PLEASANT HILL

  • POINTE A LA HACHE

  • POLLOCK

  • PONCHATOULA

  • PORT ALLEN

  • PORT BARRE

  • PORT SULPHUR

  • POWHATAN

  • PRAIRIEVILLE

  • PRIDE

  • PRINCETON

  • PROVENCAL

  • QUITMAN

  • RACELAND

  • RAGLEY

  • RAYNE

  • RAYVILLE

  • REDDELL

  • REEVES

  • RESERVE

  • RHINEHART

  • RINGGOLD

  • ROANOKE

  • ROBELINE

  • ROBERT

  • RODESSA

  • ROSEDALE

  • ROSELAND

  • ROSEPINE

  • ROUGON

  • RUBY

  • RUSTON

  • SAINT AMANT

  • SAINT BENEDICT

  • SAINT BERNARD

  • SAINT FRANCISVILLE

  • SAINT GABRIEL

  • SAINT JAMES

  • SAINT JOSEPH

  • SAINT LANDRY

  • SAINT MARTINVILLE

  • SAINT MAURICE

  • SAINT ROSE

  • SALINE

  • SAREPTA

  • SCHRIEVER

  • SCOTT

  • SHONGALOO

  • SHREVEPORT

  • SIBLEY

  • SICILY ISLAND

  • SIEPER

  • SIKES

  • SIMMESPORT

  • SIMPSON

  • SIMSBORO

  • SINGER

  • SLAGLE

  • SLAUGHTER

  • SLIDELL

  • SONDHEIMER

  • SORRENTO

  • SPEARSVILLE

  • SPRINGFIELD

  • SPRINGHILL

  • STARKS

  • START

  • STERLINGTON

  • STONEWALL

  • SUGARTOWN

  • SULPHUR

  • SUMMERFIELD

  • SUN

  • SUNSET

  • SUNSHINE

  • SWARTZ

  • TALISHEEK

  • TALLULAH

  • TANGIPAHOA

  • TAYLOR

  • THERIOT

  • THIBODAUX

  • TICKFAW

  • TIOGA

  • TRANSYLVANIA

  • TROUT

  • TULLOS

  • TUNICA

  • TURKEY CREEK

  • UNCLE SAM

  • URANIA

  • VACHERIE

  • VARNADO

  • VENICE

  • VENTRESS

  • VIDALIA

  • VILLE PLATTE

  • VINTON

  • VIOLET

  • VIVIAN

  • WAKEFIELD

  • WALKER

  • WASHINGTON

  • WATERPROOF

  • WATSON

  • WELSH

  • WEST MONROE

  • WESTLAKE

  • WESTWEGO

  • WEYANOKE

  • WHITE CASTLE

  • WILDSVILLE

  • WILSON

  • WINNFIELD

  • WINNSBORO

  • WISNER

  • WOODWORTH

  • YOUNGSVILLE

  • ZACHARY

  • ZWOLLE
  • Does Phone Answering USA provide Automated Reception Services in Louisiana?

    Phone Answering USA provides Automated Reception Services in Louisiana. This package is simple and cost effective. This package includes a local phone number, unlimited calls, unlimited local & long distance minutes (in the continental US), unlimited call forwarding and up to 7 extensions.

    This package can be purchased on our website or by calling 702.943.0315

    Does Phone Answering USA provide Live 9am to 5pm Live Answering in Louisiana?

    Phone Answering USA provides a Pay Per Call Live 9-5 Answering Service in Louisiana. These call packages are designed for the company that does not need 24/7 phone answering and wishes to pay per call not per minute. It is a simple way to understand what your monthly cost will be month in and month out.

    Live 9am – 5pm Standard and Premium Package Differentiated:

    Standard Live Answering

    Calls personally answered/ Live Message Receiving/ forwarding call to voice mail, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm local time (except holidays). $1 per call over allotted package.

    Premium Live Answering

    Calls personally answered/ screened/ forwarded per your instruction, allowing you to decide whether to accept the call, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm local time (except holidays). $1 per call over allotted package.

    Find-Me / Follow-Me: Live efforts to forward your calls, allowing you to not miss that important call.

    Both Standard and Premium packages provide:

    • Off-hour automated reception with up to 7 extensions – Auto-attendant answering of calls in your company’s name with up to 3 dialing options for callers external client number(s). Unlimited Long Distance Continental U.S.
    • Custom greeting for Off-hours – Your company branding when your line is answered.
    • Flat Rate Monthly Call Bundles – You choose the amount of bundled calls monthly for your services and receive one-set price.
    • Local Number – Local Number that is uniquely yours while employing our services.
    • Voice-mail Message to Email – Receive Voice-mails to email and hear it as a .wav file, saving long-distance charges in lieu of calling in to check your messages.
    • Music on Hold – Callers hear music when on hold or while waiting to connect.
    • Text Message Notification to Cell Phone – Receive your messages taken live by receptionist and sent by text to your mobile phone.
    • Call Time Scheduler – Calls can be routed a certain way during business hours (9-5) and a different way after-hours.

    This Package can be purchased on our website or by calling 702.943.0315

    Does Phone Answering USA provide 24/7 Phone Answering services in Louisiana?

    Phone Answering USA provides a suite of Phone Answering 24/7 Services in Louisiana. All the service packages are custom to fit any companies’ needs.

    Categories:

    • Answering Services
    • Live Receptionist
    • Order Entry
    • Scheduling
    • Call Center
    • Help Desk

    24/7 Service Defined:

    • Absentee Reporting – Agents can answer your employee reporting line and document employee absences at a minimal cost of hiring full or part-time staff.
    • Ad Response – Agents can service and manage the responses to targeted advertising campaigns, website advertising, newspapers, radio, and direct mailings.
    • Answering Service – Experienced agents can answer your line 24/7; collect the information you require; and promptly forward it to you.
    • Directory Service – Provide your callers with the nearest location of your store, service center, or dealer.
    • Disaster Recovery Back-up – Prevent your phones from being unanswered during crisis by utilizing our answering service.
    • E-Mail Read & Response – Agents ca read and respond to your e-mail in a prompt and professional manner using your templates or scripted guidance.
    • Help Desk – Utilizing the information you provide, agents will answer your line and help the caller get the right information for their questions or concerns.
    • Insurance – Professional Agents will answer your line and collect the claims information you require.
    • Marketing Collateral Request Service – Professional agents will answer your line and record the name and address of the caller requesting your catalog, literature, or other information.
    • Medical Answering – Courteous Agents will provide answering for doctors, clinics, and hospitals. HIPAA compliant.
    • Order Entry – Professional agents can take orders for your products and services.
    • Overflow – Outsource your office phones to relieve overburdening your in-house resources.
    • Property Management Services – Agents can handle property inquiries and maintenance dispatching 24/7.
    • Scheduling – Agents will answer your line and schedule appointments and/or provide reminder follow-up calls. Agents can answer your line to schedule your seminar, class, conference, or event.

    These packages can be purchased by contact us through our website or calling 702.943.0315

    State of Louisiana

    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.
    Much of the state was formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp. These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets. There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas. These support an exceptionally large number of plant species including many species of orchids and carnivorous plants.
    Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish, Native American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the American influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been both a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture.

    Toponym

    Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643-1715. When Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning “Land of Louis”. Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canadian border, and included a small part of what is now southwestern Canada.

    Geography / Geology

    Even the Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea. As Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana was then slowly built, over millions of years, from water into land, and from north to south. The oldest rocks are exposed in the north, in areas like the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back only to the early Tertiary Era, some 60 million years ago. The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in Spearing’s Geological History of Lousiana.
    The youngest parts of the state were formed over the last 7,500 years as deltas of the Mississippi River: The Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, Lafourche, the modern Mississippi, and now the Atchafalaya. The sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River.
    In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, and the relatively new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces. Their age and distribution can be largely related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter.
    Salt domes are also found in Louisiana. Their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state; one of the most familiar is Avery Island. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt; they also serve as underground traps for oil and gas.

    Topography

    Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by the state of Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico.
    The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, and the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km2). This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 miles (1,000 km) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the Red River; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams (some of which are called bayous). The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles (15 to 100 km), and along the other rivers the alluvial region averages about 10 miles (15 km) across. The Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own deposits (known as a levee), from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile (3 m/km). The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features.
    The higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles (65,000 km2). They consist of prairie and woodlands. The elevations above sea level range from 10 feet (3 m) at the coast and swamp lands to 50 and 60 feet (15-18 m) at the prairie and alluvial lands. In the uplands and hills, the elevations rise to Driskill Mountain, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level.
    Besides the navigable waterways already named, there are the Sabine (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary; and the Pearl, the eastern boundary; the Calcasieu (KAL-cah-shew), the Mermentau, the Vermilion, Bayou Teche, the Atchafalaya (a-CHAF-a-LI-a), the Boeuf (bEHf), Bayou Lafourche, the Courtableau River, Bayou D’Arbonne, the Macon River, the Tensas (TEN-saw), Amite River, the Tchefuncte (CHA-Funk-ta), the Tickfaw, the Natalbany River, and a number of other smaller streams, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long.
    The state also has political jurisdiction over the approximately 3-mile (4.8 km)-wide portion of subsea land of the inner continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. Through a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States, this is substantially less than the 9-mile (14 km)-wide jurisdiction of nearby states Texas and Florida, which, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines.
    The southern coast of Louisiana in the United States is among the fastest disappearing areas in the world. This is largely a consequence of human mismanagement of the coast (see Wetlands of Louisiana). At one time, the land actually grew when spring floods from the Mississippi River added sediment and stimulated marsh growth; the land is now shrinking. There are multiple causes. Artificial levees now block spring flood water that would bring fresh water and sediment to marshes. Swamps have been extensively logged, leaving canals and ditches that allow saline water to move inland. Canals dug for the oil and gas industry also allow storms to move sea water inland where it damages swamps and marshes. Rising sea waters have exacerbated the problem. Some estimates conclude that the state is losing a land mass equivalent to 30 football fields every day. There are many proposals to save coastal areas by reducing human damage, including restoring natural floods from the Mississippi. Without such restoration, coastal communities will continue to disappear. And as the communities disappear, more and more people are leaving the region. Since the coastal wetlands also support an economically important coastal fishery, the loss of wetlands will also negatively affect this industry.

    Climate

    Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), perhaps the most “classic” example of a humid subtropical climate of all the Southcentral states, with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters. The subtropical characteristics of the state are due in large part to the influence of the Gulf of Mexico, which even at its farthest point is no more than 200 miles (320 km) away. Precipitation is frequent throughout the year, although the summer is slightly wetter than the rest of the year. There is a dip in precipitation in October. Southern Louisiana receives far more copious rainfall, especially during the winter months. Summers in Louisiana are hot and humid, with high temperatures from mid-June to mid-September averaging 90 °F (32 °C) or more and overnight lows averaging above 70 °F (22 °C). In the summer, the extreme maximum temperature is much warmer in the north than in the south, with temperatures near the Gulf of Mexico occasionally reaching 100 °F (38 °C), although temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C) are commonplace. In northern Louisiana, the temperatures reach above 105 °F (41 °C) in the summer.
    Temperatures are generally mildly warm in the winter in the southern part of the state, with highs around New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the rest of south Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico averaging 66 °F (19 °C), while the northern part of the state is mildly cool in the winter with highs averaging 59 °F (15 °C). The overnight lows in the winter average well above freezing throughout the state, with 46 °F (8 °C) the average near the Gulf and an average low of 37 °F (3 °C) in the winter in the northern part of the state. Louisiana does have its share of cold fronts, which frequently drop the temperatures below 20 °F (-8 °C) in the northern part of the state, but almost never do so in the southern part of the state. Snow is not very common near the Gulf of Mexico, although those in the northern parts of the state can expect one to three snowfalls per year, with the frequency increasing northwards. Louisiana’s highest recorded temperature is 114 °F (46 °C) in Plain Dealing on August 10, 1936 while the coldest recorded temperature is -16 °F (-27 °C) at Minden on February 13, 1899.
    Louisiana is often affected by tropical cyclones and is very vulnerable to strikes by major hurricanes, particularly the lowlands around and in the New Orleans area. The unique geography of the region with the many bayous, marshes and inlets can make major hurricanes especially destructive. The area is also prone to frequent thunderstorms, especially in the summer. The entire state averages over 60 days of thunderstorms a year, more than any other state except Florida. Louisiana averages 27 tornadoes annually, some in part in 2010. The entire state is vulnerable to a tornado strike, with the extreme southern portion of the state slightly less so than the rest of the state. Tornadoes are much more common from January to March in the southern part of the state, and from February through March in the northern part of the state.

    Protected areas

    Owing to its location, and geology, the state has high biological diversity. Some vital areas, such as southwestern prairie, have experienced a loss in excess of 98 percent. The pine flatwoods of the Florida parishes are also at great risk, mostly from fire suppression and urban sprawl. There is not yet a properly organized system of natural areas to represent and protect Louisiana’s biological diversity. Such as system would consist of a protected system of core areas linked by biological corridors, such as Florida is planning.
    None-the-less, Louisiana contains a number of areas which are, in varying degrees, protected from human intervention. In addition to National Park Service sites and areas and a United States National Forest, Louisiana operates a system of state parks, state historic sites, one state preservation area, one state forest, and many Wildlife Management Areas. The Nature Conservancy also owns and manages a set of natural areas. One of Louisiana’s largest natural areas is Kisatchie National Forest. It is some 600,000 acres in area, more than half of which is vital flatwoods vegetation, which supports many rare plant and animal species. These include the Louisiana pine snake and Red-cockaded woodpecker. The system of protected cypress swamps around Lake Pontchartrain provides another large and important natural area, with southern wetland species including egrets, alligators, and sturgeon. At least 12 core areas would be needed to build a protected areas system for the state; these would range from southwestern prairies, to the Pearl River Floodplain in the east, to the Mississippi River alluvial swamps in the north.
    The Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System provides a degree of protection for 48 rivers, streams and bayous in the state. It is administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

    History

    Prehistory

    Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for many millennia before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century. During the Middle Archaic period, Louisiana was the site of the earliest mound complex in North America and one of the earliest dated, complex constructions in the Americas, the Watson Brake site near present-day Monroe. An 11-mound complex, it was built about 5400 BP (3500 BCE). The Middle Archaic sites of Caney and Frenchman’s Bend have also been securely dated to 5600-5000 BP, demonstrating that seasonal hunter-gatherers organized to build complex constructions in present-day northern Louisiana. The Hedgepeth Site in Lincoln Parish is more recent, dated to 5200-4500 BP.
    Nearly 2,000 years later, Poverty Point, the largest and best-known Late Archaic site in the state, was built. Modern-day Epps developed near it. The Poverty Point culture may have hit its peak around 1500 BCE, making it the first complex culture, and possibly the first tribal culture in North America. It lasted until approximately 700 BCE.
    The Poverty Point culture was followed by the Tchefuncte and Lake Cormorant cultures of the Tchula period, local manifestations of Early Woodland period. The Tchefuncte culture were the first people in Louisiana to make large amounts of pottery. These cultures lasted until 200 CE. The Middle Woodland period starts in Louisiana with the Marksville culture in the southern and eastern part of the state and the Fourche Maline culture in the northwestern part of the state. The Marksville culture takes its name from the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. These cultures were contemporaneous with the Hopewell cultures of Ohio and Illinois, and participated in the Hopewell Exchange Network. Trade with peoples to the southwest brought the bow and arrow The first burial mounds were built at this time. Political power begins to be consolidated as the first platform mounds at ritual centers are constructed for the developing hereditary political and religious leadership. By 400 CE in the southern part of the state the Late Woodland period had begun with the Baytown culture and it was not all that much of a change in the cultural history of the area. Population increased dramatically and there is strong evidence of a growing cultural and political complexity. Many Coles Creek sites were erected over earlier Woodland period mortuary mounds, leading researchers to speculate that emerging elites were symbolically and physically appropriating dead ancestors to emphasize and project their own authority. The Mississippian period in Louisiana sees the emergence of the Plaquemine and the Caddoan Mississippian cultures. This period is when extensive maize agriculture is adopted. The Plaquemine culture in the lower Mississippi River Valley in western Mississippi and eastern Louisiana begins in 1200 CE and goes to about 1400 CE. Good examples of this culture are the Medora Site in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and the Emerald Mound, Winterville and Holly Bluff sites in Mississippi. Plaquemine culture was contemporaneous with the Middle Mississippian culture in the Cahokia site near St. Louis, Missouri. This group is considered ancestral to the Natchez and Taensa Peoples. By 1000 CE in the northwestern part of the state the Fourche Maline culture had evolved into the Caddoan Mississippian culture. The Caddoan Mississippians covered a large territory, including what is now eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas, northeast Texas, and northwest Louisiana. Archeological evidence that the cultural continuity is unbroken from prehistory to the present, and that the direct ancestors of the Caddo and related Caddo language speakers in prehistoric times and at first European contact and the modern Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is unquestioned today.
    Many current place names in the state, including Atchafalaya, Natchitouches (now spelled Natchitoches), Caddo, Houma, Tangipahoa, and Avoyel (as Avoyelles), are transliterations of those used in various Native American languages.

    Exploration and colonization by Europeans

    The first European explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528 when a Spanish expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez located the mouth of the Mississippi River. In 1542, Hernando de Soto’s expedition skirted to the north and west of the state (encountering Caddo and Tunica groups) and then followed the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico in 1543. Then Spanish interest in Louisiana lay dormant. In the late 17th century, French and French Canadian expeditions, which included sovereign, religious and commercial aims, established a foothold on the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. With its first settlements, France lay claim to a vast region of North America and set out to establish a commercial empire and French nation stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
    In 1682, the French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle named the region Louisiana to honor France’s King Louis XIV. The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas (at what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi), was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, a French military officer from Canada, in 1699. By then the French had also built a small fort at the mouth of the Mississippi at a settlement they named La Balise (or La Balize), “seamark” in French. By 1721 they built a 62-foot (19 m) wooden lighthouse-type structure to guide ships on the river.
    The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to French territory in Canada. The following States were part of Louisiana: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
    The settlement of Natchitoches (along the Red River in present-day northwest Louisiana) was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, making it the oldest permanent European settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. The French settlement had two purposes: to establish trade with the Spanish in Texas, and to deter Spanish advances into Louisiana. Also, the northern terminus of the Old San Antonio Road was at Natchitoches. The settlement soon became a flourishing river port and crossroads, giving rise to vast cotton kingdoms along the river. Over time, planters developed large plantations and built fine homes in a growing town. This became a pattern repeated in New Orleans and other places.
    Louisiana’s French settlements contributed to further exploration and outposts, concentrated along the banks of the Mississippi and its major tributaries, from Louisiana to as far north as the region called the Illinois Country, around present-day St. Louis, Missouri. See also: French colonization of the Americas
    Initially Mobile, Alabama, and Biloxi, Mississippi, functioned as the capital of the colony. Recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River to trade and military interests, France made New Orleans the seat of civilian and military authority in 1722. From then until the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase on December 20, 1803, France and Spain traded control of the region’s colonial empire.
    In the 1720s, German immigrants settled along the Mississippi River in a region referred to as the German Coast.
    France ceded most of its territory to the east of the Mississippi to Great Britain in the aftermath of Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War or French and Indian War, as it is known in North America. It retained the area around New Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain after the Seven Years’ War by the Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1763.
    In 1765, during the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Canada) made their way to Louisiana after having been expelled from their homelands by the British during the French and Indian War. They settled chiefly in the southwestern Louisiana region now called Acadiana. The Spanish, eager to gain more Catholic settlers, welcomed the Acadian refugees. Cajuns descend from these Acadian refugees.
    Spanish Canary Islanders, called Islenos, emigrated from the Canary Islands of Spain to Louisiana under the Spanish crown between 1778 and 1783.
    In 1800, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte reacquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonso, an arrangement kept secret for two years.

    Expansion of slavery

    In 1709, French financier Antoine Crozat obtained a monopoly of commerce in the French dominion of Louisiana that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to what is now Illinois. “That concession allowed him to bring in a cargo of blacks from Africa every year,” the British historian Hugh Thomas wrote.
    When France sold the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803, it was soon accepted that enslaved Africans could be brought there as easily as they were brought to neighboring Mississippi though it violated U.S. law to do so. Though Louisiana was, at the start of the 19th century, a small producer of sugar with a relatively small number of slaves, it soon became a big sugar producer after plantation owners purchased enslaved people who had been transported from Africa and then to South Carolina before being sold in Louisiana where plantation owners forced the captive labor to work at no pay on their growing sugar cane plantations. Despite demands by United States Rep. James Hillhouse and by the pamphleteer Thomas Paine to enforce existing federal law against slavery in the newly acquired territory., slavery prevailed because it was the source of great profits and the lowest cost labor. The last Spanish governor of the Louisiana territory wrote that “Truly, it is impossible for lower Louisiana to get along without slaves” and with the use of slaves, the colony had been “making great strides toward prosperity and wealth.
    Forced slave labor was needed, said William C. C. Claiborne, Louisiana’s first United States governor, because unforced white laborers “cannot be had in this unhealthy climate.” Hugh Thomas wrote that Claiborne was unable to enforce the abolition of trafficking in human beings where he was charged with doing so in Louisiana.
    The Louisiana Black Code of 1806 made the cruel punishment of slaves a crime.

    Haitian migration and influence

    Pierre Clement de Laussat (Governor of Louisiana, 1803): “Saint-Domingue was, of all our colonies in the Antilles, the one whose mentality and customs influenced Louisiana the most.”
    Louisiana and her Caribbean parent colony developed intimate links during the 18th century, centered on maritime trade, the exchange of capital and information, and the migration of colonists. From such beginnings, Haitians exerted a profound influence on Louisiana’s politics, people, religion, and culture. The colony’s officials, responding to anti-slavery plots and uprisings on the island, banned the entry of enslaved Saint Dominguans in 1763. Their rebellious actions would continue to impact upon Louisiana’s slave trade and immigration policies throughout the age of the American and French revolutions.
    These two democratic struggles struck fear in the hearts of the Spaniards, who governed Louisiana from 1763 to 1800. They suppressed what they saw as seditious activities and banned subversive materials in a futile attempt to isolate their colony from the spread of democratic revolution. In May 1790 a royal decree prohibited the entry of blacks – enslaved and free – from the French West Indies. A year later, the first successful slave revolt in history started, which would lead eventually to the founding of Haiti.
    The revolution in Saint Domingue unleashed a massive multiracial exodus: the French fled with the slaves they managed to keep; so did numerous free people of color, some of whom were slaveholders themselves. In addition in 1793, a catastrophic fire destroyed two-thirds of the principal city, Cap Francais (present-day Cap Haitien), and nearly ten thousand people left the island for good. In the ensuing decades of revolution, foreign invasion, and civil war, thousands more fled the turmoil. Many moved eastward to Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) or to nearby Caribbean islands. Large numbers of immigrants, black and white, found shelter in North America, notably in New York, Baltimore (fifty-three ships landed there in July 1793), Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah as well as in Spanish Florida. Nowhere on the continent, however, did the refugee movement exert as profound an influence as in southern Louisiana.
    Between 1791 and 1803, thirteen hundred refugees arrived in New Orleans. The authorities were concerned that some had come with “seditious” ideas. In the spring of 1795, Pointe Coupee was the scene of an attempted insurrection during which planters’ homes were burned down. Following the incident, a free emigre from Saint Domingue, Louis Benoit, accused of being “very imbued with the revolutionary maxims which have devastated the said colony” was banished. The failed uprising caused planter Joseph Pontalba to take “heed of the dreadful calamities of Saint Domingue, and of the germ of revolt only too widespread among our slaves.” Continued unrest in Pointe Coupee and on the German Coast contributed to a decision to shut down the entire slave trade in the spring of 1796.
    In 1800 Louisiana officials debated reopening it, but they agreed that Saint Domingue blacks would be barred from entry. They also noted the presence of black and white insurgents from the French West Indies who were “propagating dangerous doctrines among our Negroes.” Their slaves seemed more “insolent,” “ungovernable,” and “insubordinate” than they had been just five years before.
    That same year, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France, and planters continued to live in fear of revolts. After future emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sold the colony to the United States in 1803 because his disastrous expedition against Saint Domingue had stretched his finances and military too thin, events in the island loomed even larger in Louisiana.

    Purchase by the United States

    When the United States won its independence from Great Britain in 1783, one of its major concerns was having a European power on its western boundary, and the need for unrestricted access to the Mississippi River. As American settlers pushed west, they found that the Appalachian Mountains provided a barrier to shipping goods eastward. The easiest way to ship produce was to use a flatboat to float it down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the port of New Orleans, from whence goods could be put on ocean-going vessels. The problem with this route was that the Spanish owned both sides of the Mississippi below Natchez. Napoleon’s ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. By the terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe to the French. Napoleon looked upon Louisiana as a depot for these sugar islands, and as a buffer to U.S. settlement. In October 1801 he sent a large military force to conquer the important island of Santo Domingo and re-introduced slavery, which had been abolished in St. Domingue following a slave revolt there in 1792-3, and the legal and constitutional abolition of slavery in French colonies in 1794.
    When the army led by Napoleon’s brother-in-law Leclerc was defeated by the forces opposed to the re-enslavement of most of the population of St. Domingue, Napoleon decided to sell Louisiana.
    Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was disturbed by Napoleon’s plans to re-establish French colonies in America. With the possession of New Orleans, Napoleon could close the Mississippi to U.S. commerce at any time. Jefferson authorized Robert R. Livingston, U.S. Minister to France, to negotiate for the purchase of the City of New Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce. Livingston was authorized to pay up to $2 million.
    An official transfer of Louisiana to French ownership had not yet taken place, and Napoleon’s deal with the Spanish was a poorly kept secret on the frontier. On October 18, 1802, however, Juan Ventura Morales, Acting Intendant of Louisiana, made public the intention of Spain to revoke the right of deposit at New Orleans for all cargo from the United States. The closure of this vital port to the United States caused anger and consternation. Commerce in the west was virtually blockaded. Historians believe that the revocation of the right of deposit was prompted by abuses of the Americans, particularly smuggling, and not by French intrigues as was believed at the time. President Jefferson ignored public pressure for war with France, and appointed James Monroe a special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson also raised the authorized expenditure to $10 million.
    However, on April 11, 1803, French Foreign Minister Talleyrand surprised Livingston by asking how much the United States was prepared to pay for the entirety of Louisiana, not just New Orleans and the surrounding area (as Livingston’s instructions covered). Monroe agreed with Livingston that Napoleon might withdraw this offer at any time (leaving them with no ability to obtain the desired New Orleans area), and that approval from President Jefferson might take months, so Livingston and Monroe decided to open negotiations immediately. By April 30, they closed a deal for the purchase of the entire Louisiana territory of 828,000 square miles (2,100,000 km2) for 60 million Francs (approximately $15 million). Part of this sum was used to forgive debts owed by France to the United States. The payment was made in United States bonds, which Napoleon sold at face value to the Dutch firm of Hope and Company, and the British banking house of Baring, at a discount of 871/2 per each $100 unit. As a result, France received only $8,831,250 in cash for Louisiana. Dutiful English banker Alexander Baring conferred with Marbois in Paris, shuttled to the United States to pick up the bonds, took them to Britain, and returned to France with the money which Napoleon used to wage war against Baring’s own country.
    When news of the purchase reached the United States, Jefferson was surprised. He had authorized the expenditure of $10 million for a port city, and instead received treaties committing the government to spend $15 million on a land package which would double the size of the country. Jefferson’s political opponents in the Federalist Party argued that the Louisiana purchase was a worthless desert, and that the Constitution did not provide for the acquisition of new land or negotiating treaties without the consent of the Senate. What really worried the opposition was the new states which would inevitably be carved from the Louisiana territory, strengthening Western and Southern interests in Congress, and further reducing the influence of New England Federalists in national affairs. President Jefferson was an enthusiastic supporter of westward expansion, and held firm in his support for the treaty. Despite Federalist objections, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana treaty on October 20, 1803.
    A transfer ceremony was held in New Orleans on November 29, 1803. Since the Louisiana territory had never officially been turned over to the French, the Spanish took down their flag, and the French raised theirs. The following day, General James Wilkinson accepted possession of New Orleans for the United States. A similar ceremony was held in St. Louis on March 9, 1804, when a French tricolor was raised near the river, replacing the Spanish national flag. The following day, Captain Amos Stoddard of the First U.S. Artillery marched his troops into town and had the American flag run up the fort’s flagpole. The Louisiana territory was officially transferred to the United States government, represented by Meriwether Lewis.
    The Louisiana Territory, purchased for less than 3 cents an acre, doubled the size of the United States overnight, without a war or the loss of a single American life, and set a precedent for the purchase of territory. It opened the way for the eventual expansion of the United States across the continent to the Pacific.

    Economy

    The total gross state product in 2010 for Louisiana was US$213.6 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. Its per capita personal income is $30,952, ranking 41st in the United States.
    The state’s principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy products, and rice. The seafood industry directly supports an estimated 16,000 jobs. Industry generates chemical products, petroleum and coal products, processed foods and transportation equipment, and paper products. Tourism is an important element in the economy, especially in the New Orleans area.
    The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 4th largest in the world, as well as the largest bulk cargo port in the world.
    New Orleans, Shreveport, and Baton Rouge are also home to a thriving film industry. State financial incentives and aggressive promotion have put the local film industry on a fast track. In late 2007 and early 2008, a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) film studio was scheduled to open in Treme, with state-of-the-art production facilities, and a film training institute. Tabasco sauce, which is marketed by one of the United States’ biggest producers of hot sauce, the McIlhenny Company, originated on Avery Island.
    Louisiana has three personal income tax brackets, ranging from 2% to 6%. The sales tax rate is 4%: a 3.97% Louisiana sales tax and a .03% Louisiana Tourism Promotion District sales tax. Political subdivisions also levy their own sales tax in addition to the state fees. The state also has a use tax, which includes 4% to be distributed by the Department of Revenue to local governments. Property taxes are assessed and collected at the local level. Louisiana is a subsidized state, receiving $1.44 from the federal government for every dollar paid in.
    Tourism and culture are major players in Louisiana’s economy, earning an estimated $5.2 billion per year. Louisiana also hosts many important cultural events, such as the World Cultural Economic Forum, which is held annually in the fall at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
    As of January 2010, the state’s unemployment rate was 7.4%. An African American is three times as likely as a white person to be unemployed in Louisiana.

    Federal subsidies and spending

    Louisiana taxpayers receive more federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid compared to the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2005, Louisiana citizens received approximately $1.78 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 4th highest nationally and represents a rise from 1995 when Louisiana received $1.35 per dollar of taxes in federal spending (ranked 7th nationally). Neighboring states and the amount of federal spending received per dollar of federal tax collected were: Texas ($0.94), Arkansas ($1.41), and Mississippi ($2.02). Federal spending in 2005 and subsequent years since has been exceptionally high due to the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Tax Foundation.

    Energy

    Louisiana is rich in petroleum and natural gas. Petroleum and gas deposits are found in abundance both onshore and offshore in State-owned waters. In addition, vast petroleum and natural gas reserves are found offshore from Louisiana in the federally administered Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Energy Information Administration, the Gulf of Mexico OCS is the largest U.S. petroleum-producing region. Excluding the Gulf of Mexico OCS, Louisiana ranks fourth in petroleum production and is home to about 2 percent of total U.S. petroleum reserves. One third of the oil produced in the United States comes from offshore, and 80% of offshore production comes from deep water off Louisiana. The oil industry employs about 58,000 Louisiana residents and has created another 260,000 oil-related jobs, accounting for about 17% of all Louisiana jobs.
    Louisiana’s natural gas reserves account for about 5 percent of the U.S. total. The recent discovery of the Haynesville Shale formation in parts of or all of Caddo, Bossier, Bienville, Sabine, De Soto, Red River, Sabine, and Natchitoches parishes have made it the world’s fourth largest gas field with some wells initially producing over 25 million cubic feet of gas daily. Louisiana was the first site of petroleum drilling over water in the world, on Caddo Lake in the northwest corner of the state. The petroleum and gas industry, as well as its subsidiary industries such as transport and refining, have dominated Louisiana’s economy since the 1940s. Beginning in 1950, Louisiana was sued several times by the U.S. Interior Department, in efforts by the federal government to strip Louisiana of its submerged land property rights. These control vast stores of reservoirs of petroleum and natural gas.
    When petroleum and gas boomed in the 1970s, so did Louisiana’s economy. The Louisiana economy as well as its politics of the last half-century cannot be understood without thoroughly accounting for the influence of the petroleum and gas industries. Since the 1980s, these industries’ headquarters have consolidated in Houston, but many of the jobs that operate or provide logistical support to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude-oil-and-gas industry remained in Louisiana as of 2010.