Since inception in 2011, the Fire on the Forty campaign has approved over 35,000 acres to be burned in select geographic regions of MS with funding available for the next ranking in 2014. Given the high demand from landowners, new funding sources were attracted to the program to include funds from the MS Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, MS Partners for Fish and Wildlife (MPFW), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service in cooperation with the MS Forestry Commission.
The program has been expanded to include the following focal counties: Prentiss, Monroe, Lowndes, and Noxubee in north Mississippi; Pearl River, Lamar, Forrest, Pike, Walthall, Marion, Jefferson Davis, Covington, and Amite in south MS, with additional funding available for longleaf pine in select counties in the longleaf pine native range. Focal counties were selected based on key habitats where conservation action can directly benefit wildlife species of greatest conservation need.
The campaign was designed to promote prescribed burning on private lands by providing cost share assistance to private landowners. Although prescribed fire is one of the best tools used for managing forests and wildlife habitat, costs and liability have posed concerns among private landowners. This cost share program provides up to 50% of costs associated with conducting prescribed burns on private property.
Landowners can submit applications for the program by October 1, 2014. Applications will be competitively ranked and selected for funding by the MPFW. For more information about the “Fire on the Forty” program, including project application forms, visit www.mdwfp.com/fireontheforty, contact Tamara Campbell (email email@example.com), or call 601-432-2199.