State working to save 640 acres of swamp cypress

Jul 13, 2012

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says an agreement with the St. Martin Parish School Board has been hammered out to save 640 acres of cypress and hardwood forest under threat of being logged in the Atchafalaya basin.

The school board had allowed the tract to be logged but environmental groups recently intervened and threatened to sue. The lawsuit prompted DNR's conservation plan, according to Dean Wilson, the head of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.

Environmentalists oppose cypress logging in south Louisiana because the trees are so hard to grow back.

The swamp land in question is south of Interstate 10 between the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya Pilot Channel.

Under the deal, the school board would be compensated. DNR said Friday it hopes to have the agreement done by early August.