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.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
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Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.