The St. Martin Parish School Board voted Wednesday night in favor of selling and logging 450 acres of a cypress-tupelo swamp it owns in the Atchafalaya Basin.
The St. Martin Parish School Board voted Wednesday night in favor of selling and logging 450 acres of a cypress-tupelo swamp it owns in Section 16 of the Atchafalaya Basin.
Several concerned St. Martin Parish citizens, including the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper Dean Wilson, were present at Wednesday’s board meeting in Breaux Bridge to voice their outrage.
“It’s not sustainable, you lose the trees forever,” says Wilson. “We explained to the school board that it’s the most important asset that our kids have in the parish because there is no place in the entire world like the Atchafalya Basin.”
Wilson says he has spoken with the timber company Good Hope Inc., which the school board has contracted for the logging. And while Good Hope said it was willing to back out of the contract, the school board is not.
“Trees are a huge asset,” Wilson says. “They have a huge potential for ecotourism and education, but (the school board) completely ignored that and decided to cut the trees down anyway.”
Aside from destroying a pristine habitat for the continent's migratory birds and a gorgeous buffer from those pesky hurricanes, the school board seeks to reap a one-time reward of $148 per acre (or $88,200 after Good Hope gets its pound of flesh) to line its budget. That’s small chips considering the trees would take several hundred years for the trees to mature that is if they can at all in the face of the nutria population and yearly flooding.
But Wilson and his fellow cypress lovers are ready for the fight.
“We believe that the logging will be illegal so we are going to send letters of intent this week against the timber company and against the school board,” says Wilson.
Wilson refers to RS 41:1009 which states:
Cutting or sale, or both, of cypress timber on stateowned water bottoms; prohibition
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, particularly R.S. 41:1001 through R.S. 41:1008, the cutting or sale, or both, of standing cypress timber located on any water bottom owned by the state of Louisiana is hereby prohibited except in the exercise of rights under a state lease, right-of-way, or permit. However, the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources may, at his discretion, permit the selective cutting of such timber.
And as you may have guessed, the Section 16 swamp is considered a state-owned water bottom.
If you want to join the Basinkeeper's campaign to save these precious state resouces and help protect other Atchafalaya cypress swamps for future generations, visit his website here.
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
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A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
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Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
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The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.