The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) published an open letter on 2 March 2009 calling for the sustainable management of cypress forests. These wetland forests, which occur throughout the southeastern United States, are increasingly being harvested to produce mulch for landscaping, notes the SWS statement. Studies indicate that cypress forests are difficult to regenerate, either naturally or artificially. “We question whether harvesting cypress in permanently or semi-permanently flooded areas is sustainable given the current levels of harvesting,” said SWS President Dr. Christopher Craft. The society hopes that the ecosystem services provided by intact cypress forests, such as water filtration, floodwater storage, and wildlife habitat, will be recognized by natural resource managers when making decisions regarding the management of cypress forests.

The SWS letter is available at


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