Swampland Saved: St. Martin Parish School Board Not to Log

On June 27th, the St. Martin Parish School Board decided to back out of a contract to log section 16 lands that it owns in the Atchafalaya Basin, and they are working on a deal with DNR to get an easement to permanently protect that cypress forest. The decision was made in response to public pressure and a legal action taken by Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, and Gulf Restoration Network.

"What an incredible feeling to think that if it was not for all of us, that 640-acre forest would have vanished forever. Thanks to our work, those trees will be permanently protected and one day it will be a majestic, mature cypress forest, with baldcypress trees over 150 feet tall, and birds that come from the tropics will arrive to find their homes intact year after year," states Basinkeeper Dean A. Wilson.

Thanks go out to the many Atchafalaya Basinkeeper members who fought so hard to protect this forest. Thanks also to Greg Guirard, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, Secretary of DNR Scott Angelle, St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier, the Mayor of Henderson Sherbin Colette, Woody Martin, and Mike Bienvenue. Thanks also to all the other groups that joined us in this fight: the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, sDelta Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, and Gulf Restoration Network.

Click Here for video of School-Board-owned cypress swamp saved from cutting.

School Board Logging in the News

State Agency, S.M. Officials Meet; Acres of Cypress Spared Daily Iberian 6/29/2012

St. Martin cypress trees saved? The Independent Weekly 6/28/2012

School Board Cancels Swamp Lease, KLFY Channel 10 Lafayette, 6/27/2012

Cypress Swamp Threatened by School Board's Action Bayou Teche News, June 2012

Basinkeeper and Others Suing School Board Over Sale of Native Cypress Forest Teche News June 2012

Atchafalaya Basin Bout , The Independent Weekly, 5/11/2012

Timber Company Getting Permits to Log St. Martin School Board Property KATC Channel 3, 5/7/2012

School Board Contract May Endanger Cypress , KATC Channel 3, 4/4/2012