Much of the state's lands were 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 ibises 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 terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants. Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, and four that have not received recognition.
Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th–century French, Haitian, Spanish, French Canadian, Native American, and African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the U.S. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the present–day U.S. state of Louisiana had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. In the post–Civil War environment, Anglo Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, and the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve, foster, and promote their respective historic, linguistic, and cultural origins". (Full article...)
According to the 2015 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes, residents of any unincorporated area may propose to incorporate as a municipality if the area meets prescribed minimum population thresholds. Municipal corporations are divided based on population into three classes: cities, towns, and villages. Those having five thousand inhabitants or more are classified as cities; those having less than five thousand but more than one thousand inhabitants are classified as towns; and those having one thousand or fewer inhabitants are classified as villages. The governor may change the classification of the municipality if the board of aldermen requests a change and a census shows that the population has increased or decreased making it eligible for a different classification. Municipalities are granted powers to perform functions required by local governments including the levy and collection of taxes and to assume indebtedness. (Full article...)
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