Publication Date



American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers


Over 345,000 ha of forested swamps occur throughout the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. Natural and anthropogenic changes in hydrology and geomorphology at local and landscape levels have reduced the productivity in many of these coastal wetland forests areas and have caused the complete loss of forest cover in some places. A summary and interpretation of the available
science, suggestions for policy change, and a multidisciplinary (multi-responsibility) approach were needed to address these issues [in the context of private land]. In response, the Louisiana Governor's office formed a Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use Science Working Group (SWG) and an associated Advisory Panel to provide the Governor with information and suggestions of strategies for environmental and economic utilization, conservation, and protection of Louisiana's coastal wetland forest ecosystem in the long-term. The process of engaging scientists, resource managers, and other stakeholders in this effort is described, and the recommendations of the SWG are presented relative to forestry practices and the potential for sustainable management of coastal wetland forests.