Can Cypress Trees Be Cut in Florida?
Cypress trees have both economical and ecological value. A highly prized timber tree for centuries, a cypress tree also provides a habitat for a variety of wildlife species, flood control and water quality improvement. Currently, no regulations prevent the logging of cypress in Florida, but environmental protection regulations help to preserve the cypress wetlands throughout the state.
Wetland Protection Act
The Warren S. Henderson Wetland Protection Act, passed by the Florida legislature in 1984, prevents any forestry activity that significantly changes the wetlands or impairs the flow and of water in, around or through a wetland. Extensive logging or clear-cutting of cypress trees would violate this act.
Notice of Intent
The Florida Department of Forestry implemented Forestry Best Management Practices that require a Notice of Intent, a permit, for any activities in cypress wetlands and non-riverine swamp forests that are dominated by cypress vegetation.
Clean Water Act
On a federal level, the wetlands and the cypress trees are further protected by Section 404 of the EPA’s Clean Water Act. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluate all wetland activities before issuing the required permits.
Elizabeth McNelis has been writing gardening, cooking, parenting and homeschooling articles from her St. Petersburg urban homestead since 2006. She is the editor of “The Perspective,” a homeschooling newsletter distributed in Pinellas County, Fla. and writes a blog entitled Little Farm in the Big City. McNelis holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional and technical writing from the University of South Florida.