The Mississippi Legislature passed a Concurrent Resolution congratulating the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) on their 75th anniversary, to be celebrated June 12, 2016. “I am glad to be in a position where we were able to recognize the American Tree Farm System’s 75th anniversary and Mississippi’s private forest landowners. This Resolution highlights the contributions forestry gives to our state,” said Representative Ken Morgan, Forestry Committee Chair, Mississippi House of Representatives.
Mississippi has more than 3,900 ATFS Certified Tree Farms managed by private forest landowners. ATFS Certified Tree Farmers invest time, manpower, and personal funds to practice sustainable forest management. “Many individuals and families have been Tree Farmers for more than 50 years,” said Dr. Glenn Hughes, Mississippi State Tree Farm Chair, Mississippi State University Extension Service. “These Tree Farms span generations, and landowners seek to leave the land better than they found it.”
Through the Forest Stewardship Program, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) provides Forest Stewardship Management Plans that allow private landowners to apply for American Tree Farm Certification. Forest Stewardship Management Plans are based on sound management principles designed to restore and protect forest resources and improve wildlife habitats. “The USDA Forest Service, Forest Stewardship Program is a vital partner with the Mississippi Forestry Commission and the American Tree Farm System in Mississippi. This federal funding allows the Mississippi Forestry Commission important resources in order to better serve our private forest landowners across the state. These funds assist in producing forest management plans that comply with standards of sustainable forest management required for American Tree Farm Certification,” said Jack White, Forest Stewardship Coordinator, Mississippi Forestry Commission. “The American Tree Farm system allows Mississippi Landowners an avenue to produce certified forest products on their Family Tree Farm. Mississippi is proud of our two past winners of the National Tree Farmer of the Year Award.”
Mississippi has 19.8 million forested acres and private forest landowners own 75% of that acreage (approximately 350,000 people). Forests make important, positive contributions to the quality of life for Mississippians by providing almost 70,000 jobs, a wealth of forest products, improved water quality, livestock forage areas, green spaces, abundant wildlife habitat, recreational experiences, and economic benefits. The forestry and forest products industry has a $12.3 billion economic impact in the state of Mississippi. The American Tree Farm System works to sustain forests, watersheds, and healthy wildlife habitats through the power of private stewardship by offering affordable forest certification for family forest landowners in the United States.
Click here for a photo of Mississippi Certified Tree Farmers with MFC employees.
Click here for more information on the Forest Stewardship Program in Mississippi.
Click here to visit the American Tree Farm System Website.
Click here to view Concurrent Resolution (HC 111).