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Forestland Economic Impact Assessment for EF-3 Tornado

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) conducted an aerial detection flight of the area affected by the EF-3 tornado that traveled through Lamar, Forrest, and Perry counties on January 21, 2017. The purpose was to assess damage to forested acreage and estimate the potential economic impact.

Summary of the data collected by the MFC on January 24, 2017:

  • Approximately 1,571 forested acres damaged
    • 1,453 acres – privately owned
    • 118 acres – public lands managed by the MFC
  • Approximately 4,320 total acres impacted

The estimated economic impact on privately owned forestland is listed below (by county):

Table 1: Estimated economic impact – private forestland

CountyPine AcresHardwood AcresMixed AcresTotal AcresTotal Economic Impact

*Public forestland and urban forestland within city limits were not used in Table 1 calculations.

The economic impact estimate takes into account young sub-merchantable stands, as well as mature timber. The value estimate may be low for individual timber stands or landowners, as some experienced the loss of high-value trees. The amounts used to calculate the value estimate were $5/ ton for pulpwood and $25/ ton for sawtimber.

The total economic impact of the EF-3 tornado on all forested acreage in the affected area (including public forestland and urban forestland within city limits) was estimated to be between $410,784 – $1,089,750.


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Broken trunks and limbs from a forest of trees affected by a tornado
A map of several Mississippi counties, with a red shape indicating a tornado's path