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Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative<< Back to Key Initiatives

Location

The area of interest for the CFCI includes areas which are most likely to address all of the focal areas of the CFCI program. This geographic area (see gallery image 1) is defined by multiple criteria which include legislative and political boundaries.

coastal-forest-conservation

Issue Addressed

Coastal forests in Louisiana have long been recognized as valuable for the goods and services that they provide. More recently, their importance as buffers to hurricane storm surge and winds has been increasingly appreciated. However, since coastal forests have become increasingly vulnerable to pressures from natural and anthropogenic forces, these critical habitats are in danger of being lost.

Project Goals

The goal of the CFCI is to conserve and protect in perpetuity coastal forest resources in Louisiana which provide a significant benefit to the citizens of Louisiana from multiple perspectives. The primary objective of the CFCI is to acquire land rights (fee title or conservation servitude) from willing landowners of properties that meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Provide direct storm damage reduction potential or protection of hurricane/storm protection features and measures (e.g., levees, cheniers, etc.);

• Areas of high ecological significance; or

• Tracts that are in danger of conversion to non-forested uses.

Different hydrologic classes and forest types across the coast will be considered. The initiative also includes the potential for implementation of small-scale projects to restore and enhance forest sustainability, such as those that reduce excessive ponding or impoundment, help offset subsidence, and to reforest disturbed sites.
This initiative considers all native coastal forest types, including baldcypress-tupelo and other swamps, live oak natural levee forests, coastal live oak-hackberry forests (cheniers), bottomland hardwood forests, barrier island live oak forests (maritime forests), mixed pine hardwood forests, longleaf pine savannahs, salt dome hardwood forests, or other forest communities which also rank highly within the prioritization process.
The CFCI is a voluntary program, and as such is committed to exploring opportunities to benefit landowners while simultaneously achieving program conservation objectives. Enrollment in the CFCI program offers numerous benefits to landowners, although the nature of the benefits would vary depending on the method of acquisition.

Project Status

To date, the CFCI program has negotiated the purchase of a servitude on a 4,728-acre property in St. Mary Parish that includes high quality baldcypress/tupelo swamp as well as bottomland hardwoods, and also provides protection to a hurricane protection levee. The program was also the major contributor to the acquisition of 29,630 acres of baldcypress/tupelo and bottomland hardwood forest in the Maurepas Swamp. This acquisition increased the size of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to over 100,000 acres, thereby conserving the property and expanding recreational opportunities.

Get Involved!

Application materials, CFCI Implementation Guidelines, and frequently asked questions are included in the Documents tab on this page.

Project Details

Project Type: Key Initiative