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Cypress falling faster than thought

[ Louisiana ] State forestry officials have dramatically underestimated the extent of cypress logging in Louisiana , with new figures released this week revealing a 15-fold increase from previous harvesting estimates for a tree emblematic of the state’s imperiled coastal wetlands. State Forester Paul Frey said a new analysis of the industry shows about 30 million board feet of cypress are being harvested annually, compared with prior estimates of less than 2 million board feet a year. The amount killed by natural processes, Frey said, is 21 million board feet annually. That’s up from the 15 million board feet previously reported. Frey contends that even at the new levels his office calculated, the logging does not hurt the long-term health of the cypress forests because they are growing at a faster rate than they are being cut. But several organizations including the Sierra Club and the Gulf Restoration Network plan to announce a nationwide campaign today to discourage cypress logging in Louisiana . Their concern, shared by some state and federal officials, is that cypress stands cut today will not grow back because of man-made alterations to the coast’s delicate natural hydrology.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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