Monday, August 01, 2005

Logging Louisiana cypress

Here's something that hasn't seen much coverage in Louisiana media: Debate about whether the state should allow logging in its remaining cypress swamps. Consider this observation from the San Diego Union Tribune about the dilemma facing the governor, "There's still a lot of cypress swamp left. Louisiana now has 1,462 million cubic feet of cypress, second only to Florida." "The abundance is both a blessing and a curse," the paper continues. "This poor state needs the tax dollars that logging would bring but it also needs to save its coast, which would most likely lose even more land if logging is not restricted." And that is the irony. At the same time Louisiana is seeking federal dollars to protect and restore the eroding coastline, it is contemplating logging the cypress forests which will probably put the coastline at further risk. NPR had a story about it in May. Public meetings on the subject began last month and the Times-Picayune reported on the meetings. A decision is expected soon.