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Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report

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Message from the State Forester

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) has been a leader in the protection, management, and sustainability of our state’s forests for over 85 years. The MFC provides expertise, information, and support to keep Mississippi’s 19.8 million acres of forestland healthy, productive, and profitable.

We are proud of our service to the public and our protection of the state’s valuable forest resources. Committed to delivering quality services and assistance to both rural and urban landowners, the Mississippi Forestry Commission looks forward to the continued privilege of caring for Mississippi’s trees, forests, and natural resources.

In addition, we are proud to have achieved American Tree Farm certification on Mississippi’s School Trust Lands (Sixteenth Section Lands) that provide over $20 million annually to support public education.

We appreciate our partners who provide support, collaboration, and implementation of many of our programs and services. We work hard to maintain and develop our relationships with natural resource agencies, organizations, and individuals. These relationships ensure that the citizens of Mississippi receive the best assistance and service possible.

I would also like to thank our state leaders, commissioners, staff, partners, and citizens for their continued support and assistance in making 2015 a successful year.

Please feel free to contact our office anytime, we look forward to serving you.

Forest Management

The Forest Management Department provides private forest landowners with limited on-the-ground services, technical assistance, cost-share assistance, advice to increase timber production and provide for the sustainable management of forest resources.

FY15 Statewide Accomplishments

Private Land Activities
Landowners Assisted 7,480
Total Forest Management Plans 1,369
Acres under Management Plans 130,111
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 16,582


Public Land Activities
Timber Sale Receipts $20,571,912
Number of Sales 215
Acres Regenerated 7,661
Boundary Line Maintenance (Miles) 602
Firebreak Maintenance (Miles) 684
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 4,498


Prescribed Burning – Private & Public Land
Total (Acres) 19,735


Forest Resource Development Program
Acres Regenerated or Improved 23,077
Funds Distributed $2,267,434


Invasive Plant Control Program for Cogongrass Suppression
Cogongrass Applications from Landowners 300
Landowners Inspected 300
Total Infested Spots Treated 2,795
Total Infested Acres Treated 575.3


Quick Facts

  • The forestry and forest product industry has a $12.3 billion dollar economic impact on the state of Mississippi and represents almost 70,000 jobs.
  • On average, more than $2 million is distributed each year to private forest landowners in Mississippi through the Forest Resource Development Program, which provides cost share funding for tree planting and forest improvements.
  • In FY15, the revenue from timber sales on non-federal public lands, including Mississippi School Trust Lands, totaled $20.57 million.

Forest Protection

The MFC suppresses, monitors, and detects wildfire activity occurring day and night on approximately 19.8 million forested acres statewide.

FY15 Wildfires by Cause

Cause # Wildfires # Acres Burned
Lightning 8 50
Campfire 4 80
Smoking 6 18
Debris Burning 780 8,276
Incendiary 740 10,923
Equipment Use 40 544
Railroad 4 13
Children 10 66
Miscellaneous 119 2,704
Re-ignition 45 712
Total 1,756 23,396

Quick Facts

  • MFC suppressed 1,756 wildfires, which burned 23,396 acres.
  • MFC awarded 52 grants totaling $165,000 to volunteer fire departments.
  • 27 homes were destroyed, 12 homes were damaged, and 2,049 homes were threatened by wildfire activity.
  • The average wildfire size was 13.3 acres.
  • MFC Investigators handled six felony wood arson cases and handled eight misdemeanor cases.

Forest Information

The Forest Information Department provided support to all MFC program areas in FY15 through the development of displays, exhibits, brochures, and other informational material.

This Department was responsible for overseeing media relations, internal and external information distribution, agency publications, and continued management of the MFC’s online presence.

The Forest Information Department also utilized mass media outlets (radio, television, and print) and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) to release forestry and agency information to the public.

Multiple delivery methods were used in order to reach the public in the most effective manner possible.

MFC Outreach Program
Adult and Youth Programs 216
Participants 59,852*

*Data does not include participants from the MS State Fair, MS Wildlife Extravaganza, or the MS Garden and Patio Show.

Quick Facts

  • In FY15, the MFC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program provided 8 financial assistance grants totaling $112,700 to state and local governments, non profit groups, and educational institutions.
  • Mississippi had three college campuses recognized as Tree Campus USA Schools: Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • 26 Mississippi cities and towns certified as Tree City USA Communities.