Cypress Ecosystem Protection
Unsustainable bald cypress harvesting practices have plagued the Southeast for decades. Cypress seedlings require specific—and often difficult to achieve—conditions to grow, so many logged areas never regenerate. Even if they do regenerate, cypress are relatively slow growing trees and can take many decades after harvesting to return to any semblance of a functioning ecosystem.
SouthWings is a key player in the campaign to protect cypress ecosystems in the Southeast. We began flying cypress ecosystems in 2005 with the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper in Louisiana and soon after became a founding member of the Save Our Cypress Coalition. In 2009 we anchored the establishment of a cypress organizing committee that culminated in a 2010 agreement by major cypress mulch retailers to stop buying cypress from coastal Louisiana. The Atchafalaya Basinkeeper reported in its 2012 annual report, “we have stopped all cypress logging in coastal Louisiana.” We continue to work with environmental groups and federal and state agencies to ensure that ongoing cypress harvesting is done as sustainably as possible.