Southern Pine Beetle Activity: Privately Owned Forestland
To monitor forest health issues, such as the southern pine beetle, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) completes aerial monitoring flights statewide each year in the spring and fall. Due to increased activity noted during the spring flight, additional flights were carried out in July to gather further information on private and publicly owned forestland in 15 counties that comprise and border Mississippi’s National Forests.
242 suspected southern pine beetle spots were identified on privately owned forestland during those flights. According to the U.S. Forest Service, more than 3,500 southern pine beetle infestation spots were found in the Homochitto, Bienville, Tombigbee and Holly Springs National Forests. The southern pine beetle outbreak has been fueled by two summers of drought followed by two winters of unusually high temperatures. The southern pine beetle is said to be the most destructive forest insect in the South.
“We encourage landowners to be proactive in their forest management. In fact, the MFC has a Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program, which provides cost-share funds to encourage private forest landowners to thin their dense pine stand before the next southern pine beetle outbreak,” said Todd Matthews, Urban Forestry & Forest Health Coordinator for the Mississippi Forestry Commission. “Much of our current strategy for managing southern yellow pine timber is based on past experience with southern pine beetle outbreaks. Healthy stands of timber that have been properly thinned and managed are less susceptible to southern pine beetle damage.”
The interactive map linked below represents suspected southern pine beetle spots identified on privately owned forestland as of July 2017. Not all data has been verified from the ground at this time. To view the interactive map visit: http://bit.ly/SPBActivityMapMS
Private forest landowners who are concerned about possible southern pine beetle activity on their property are encouraged to contact their MFC Area Forester. To find the Area Forester for each county, visit the “Local Contacts” drop-down list on the MFC’s homepage: www.mfc.ms.gov
More information on how to identify the southern pine beetle and signs of attack may be found by visiting: www.mfc.ms.gov/forest-health/southern-pine-beetle-biology
Southern Pine Beetle Activity Map: www.mfc.ms.gov/southern-pine-beetle-activity-map
Southern Pine Beetle Biology: www.mfc.ms.gov/forest-health/southern-pine-beetle-biology
Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program: www.mfc.ms.gov/SPB-Prevention