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.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.