Letters to the Editor


Good story on the Cypress logging issue ("Log Jam," June 15). One thing that I think is informative, but that is not in your story, is that the state owns about 70,000 acres of swamp in the Maurepas Basin (Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area) that is likely within the 200,000 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp in the Pontchartrain-Maurepas Basin cited by Dr. Gary Shaffer. So, approximately one-third of the total acreage of swamp in this basin is already protected from liquidation by logging.

It is my understanding that negotiations are under way to add additional acres to the wildlife management area. This whole issue has gotten blown out of proportion and is hurting our efforts to achieve the collaboration necessary to get the support we need to restore (as much as possible) the coast. There is plenty of blame to go around, so I won't go there.

The Louisiana Wildlife Federation sent a letter to the members of the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act Task Force almost two months ago regarding this subject. I am dismayed that we thus far have not received a reply, considering this task force is the main planning group for coastal restoration efforts and is responsible for the allocation of $40 million a year on restoration projects. The concept of establishing a coastal forest reserve program, patterned after the very popular and successful Wetlands Reserve Program, was proposed by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in February of 2004 and subsequently endorsed by the Louisiana Legislature as SCR 75 of 2004.

Again, nice job on your story.