In 2008, the Save Our Cypress Campaign achieved a major victory and saved tens of thousands of acres of cypress swamps in Louisiana. In response to coordinated grassroots pressure, Wal-Mart stopped selling cypress mulch sourced from anywhere in Louisiana, and Lowe's and Home Depot ended sales of cypress mulch from coastal Louisiana. Thanks to these companies for taking this important step to live up to their sustainability policies and thanks to the many people and organizations that worked towards this success.
Cypress swamps are valuable natural protection for coastal communities from storm surge and flooding. Threatened and endangered wildlife, such as the Louisiana black bear and the ivory-billed woodpecker, also rely on these magnificent trees for their habitats.
Unfortunately, our cypress swamps were under threat from the cypress mulch industry, which was clearcutting cypress forests just to make mulch for gardens.
In response to this threat, we helped organize the Save Our Cypress coalition, a broad coalition of groups and individuals interested in protecting our precious cypress forests and the communities and wildlife that rely on them. After years of grassroots organizing and advocacy targeting Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Home Depot, three of the largest commercial retailers of cypress mulch, we were able to convince these companies to stop selling cypress mulch sourced from coastal Louisiana!
GRN and our partners continue to keep an eye on this issue to ensure that these companies are living up to their promises. We’re also monitoring potential new threats to our beautiful swamps and forest, like the expanding biomass industry.