Conservation of Louisiana's coastal wetland forests
Large-scale efforts to protect and restore coastal wetlands and the concurrent renewal of forest harvesting in cypress-tupelo swamps have brought new attention to Louisiana's coastal wetland forests in recent years. Our understanding of these coastal wetland forests has been limited by inadequate data and the lack of a comprehensive review of existing information. The importance of these forests is now being recognized and the loss and degradation of the ecosystem functions and services provided by Louisiana's coastal wetland forests is significant. Since Louisiana's coastal wetland forests are of tremendous economic, ecological, cultural, and recreational value to Louisiana, the country, and the world, the Louisiana Governor's office commissioned a Science Working Group to examine these forests and make recommendations for their conservation, protection and use. This paper summarizes the report findings and provides recommendations for what state government, professional foresters, research scientists, landowners, and the public can do to ensure the sustainability of Louisiana's coastal wetland forests well into the future.