Save our Cypress is on an important mission to prevent valuable cypress in the wetlands from becoming mulch.
The threat to cypress:
Though Louisiana’s wetlands face serious threats from coastal land loss and development, widespread clear cutting of cypress forests is also a very imminent danger. In the past, cypress mulch used to be a by-product of lumber mills. This is no longer true. The mulch purchased today comes from wide spread clear cutting of entire ecosystems. Loggers are operating with little to no oversight. No state laws exist to protect Louisiana’s state tree; some that are more than 1,000 years old.
Why we need cypress:
Cypress forests provide tremendous environmental, cultural, recreational, and economic value to Louisiana. Cypress protect coastal communities by buffering against hurricanes and absorbing storm surges and flood waters. They naturally filter pollutants and excess nutrients before they contaminate swimming and fishing areas. Cypress provide critical habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species such as the Louisiana black bear, the bald eagle, and the recently rediscovered ivory-billed woodpecker. They also sustain freshwater and coastal fisheries and minimize the impacts of global warming.
What you can do:
- Call on local and state officials to take action to protect our threatened cypress forests. Find your local legislators at http://www.legis.state.la.us.
- Use alternatives to cypress mulch like pine bark, pine straw, farmed eucalyptus or recycled sugar cane, which have been found to be just as effective as cypress mulch, or save money by using leaves from your own yard.
- Educate family and friends on the effects that using cypress mulch in their gardens and yards will have on Louisiana’s cypress forests, and ultimately our coast.
- Contact major mulch users in your area – city and state parks, schools, etc. – and ask them to use alternatives to cypress mulch.
(All the text from this article came from the Save our Cypress website.)