~~~~~STOP USING CYPRESS MULCH!!!~~~~~~~
This is the point of the following email I got yesterday:
This week Mother Jones magazine released the article Mulch Madness about Atchafalaya Basinkeeper Dean Wilson’s efforts to stop the illegal and unsustainable cutting of cypress for cheap mulch. Right now the cypress mulch industry is destroying wetlands that protect coastal Louisiana from hurricanes. The article is online at:
Waterkeeper has been working with Dean and organizations across the Gulf Coast to save our cypress forests. We’ve made great progress. In June 2007, more than 200 Louisiana cities, universities, churches and other organizations
pledged to stop using cypress mulch. Month later, Wal-Mart and Lowes announced they would stop or limit buying and selling cypress mulch from Louisiana. This is a great start but the threat remains. We have a long way to go to stop the mulching of the nation’s coastal wetland forests.
Our gardeners hold the key. We believe that gardeners must know the truth about cypress mulch, and will stop using cypress mulch when presented with the facts.
Again, thank you for your help spreading the word: Say NO to Cypress Mulch. I am also happy to provide more information for you.
50 S. Buckhout St., Ste 302
Irvington, NY 10533
Interesting! I never realized that cypress trees were cut just to make mulch. I figured the mulch was a byproduct of lumber scraps from other uses for cypress. So I sent her this reply:
Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention! I will make a post to my garden blog to help get the word out. I actually used to prefer cypress mulch, until I discovered a flush of tasty and edible morelle mushrooms after using oak chips for mulch. Now I ONLY use oak! :) But I see so many gas stations selling pallets full of cypress...not good!
Thank you again,
True story about the mushrooms showing up from my oak mulching! I use the "mini-nugget" oak mulch from Menard's, and although it's not as colorful or fragrant as cypress, I find it appears more natural in my gardens. (Plus if it has morelle spore, yippie!) The same day, I got this reply:
Thank you so much for your note. We’re so happy to have your support.
It is wonderful that you found an alternative to Cypress. We came across a study that the University of Florida did which found cypress mulch to be no better than pine bark/needles/straw or even leaf litter.
Our friends in Louisiana have followed many of the operators from source to product illegally cutting down cypress forests at the expense of our precious coastal wetlands. If you are interested in speaking to anyone in person, or need more information, do let me know. Thank you again Lisa, we deeply appreciate your help!
So here's the post I promised. When I visited the Waterkeepers web site, I found that they are involved in many conservation efforts. Now, in the past, I may have scoured the web to be sure I agree with all of this groups' tactics. I don't like how some groups mix in various anti-hunting tactics with their other politics (I even took a dislike to Jimmy Buffett based on an old boyfriend's assertion that Jimmy is anti-hunting.) But I'm not so hard-core anymore...people don't have to agree with everything I do, either! Plus I'm not donating cash at this point, I just want to support the idea of avoiding cypress mulch that's not responsibly manufactured. And since I doubt you can tell by looking at the bag, it's just as easy to stop using it altogether. Here's another very interesting link I found:
http://www.saveourcypress.com/ . Anybody else have a take on this?