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Fiscal Year 2016 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 Mississippi’s forestland since 1926. The MFC is a public service agency responsible for all facets of forest protection, management, and information for the state of Mississippi. The MFC provides expertise, information, and support to keep Mississippi’s 19.8 million acres of forestland healthy, productive, and profitable. The MFC protects Mississippi’s forestland from wildfire, sustainably manages approximately 485,000 acres of forested non-federal public land, and delivers quality forest management services and assistance to both rural and urban private landowners.

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, open spaces, abundant wildlife habitat, recreational experiences, and economic benefits. In Mississippi, the forestry and forest products industry has a $12.79 billion economic impact.

We are proud of our service to the public and our protection of the state’s valuable forest resources. The MFC looks forward to the continued privilege of caring for Mississippi’s trees, forests, and natural resources. Professional Foresters know that our precious natural resources – water, soil, wildlife, air, and timber – can be utilized and renewed with careful management. Sustainable management of our natural resources ensures the abundance of these resources for future generations.

In addition, the MFC is proud to have achieved American Tree Farm certification on Mississippi’s School Trust (16th Section) Lands which provide over $19 million annually to support public education. This is the first large-scale certification of non-federal public forestland in the nation.

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 2016 a productive 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.

2016 Forest Management Accomplishments

Private Land Activities
Landowners Assisted 9,027
*Total Forest Management Plans 1,667
Acres under Management Plans 155,127
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 9,997


Public Land Activities
Timber Sale Receipts $19,369,755
Number of Sales 256
Acres Regenerated 8,000
Boundary Line Maintenance (Miles) 465
Firebreak Maintenance (Miles) 954
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 9,738


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 316
Landowners Inspected 316
Total Infested Spots Treated 3,164
Total Infested Acres Treated 660

*Certified Stewardship & other Forest Management Plans

Quick Facts

  • $2.27 million in FRDP funding was distributed to private forest landowners and 23,077 acres were regenerated or improved.
  • The combined revenue from timber sales on Mississippi School Trust Land and other public lands totaled $19.37 million.
  • MFC employees distributed promotional items at 39 venues across the state to support the "Don't Move Firewood" campaign to help stop the spread of invasive pest species.

Forest Protection

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

FY16 Wildfires by Cause

Cause # Wildfires # Acres Burned
Lightning 16 320
Campfire 8 17
Smoking 20 170
Debris Burning 743 6,747
Incendiary 325 11,772
Equipment Use 69 1,641
Railroad 5 66
Children 13 45
Miscellaneous 717 10,592
Total 1,916 31,370

Quick Facts

  • MFC Wildland Firefighters responded to & suppressed 1,916 wildfires that burned 31,370 acres.
  • A Statewide Burn Ban was in effect from October 20-26, 2015.
  • The MFC awarded 62 grants with a total value of $279,000 to Volunteer Fire Departments.
  • 2,073 structures were threatened by wildfire activity and saved by MFC wildland firefighters. 38 structures were damaged or destroyed.
  • $7.72 million in wildland firefighting vehicles & equipment were issued to Mississippi VFDs through the FEPP/ FFP program.
  • The average wildfire size was 16.4 acres.

Forest Information

The Forest Information Department supports MFC program areas by disseminating information, providing educational presentations, and offering public relations support. This Department oversees media relations, internal and external information distribution, agency publications, and management of the MFC’s online presence.

The Forest Information Department utilizes mass media outlets (radio, television, newspaper, web, print) and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to reach the public.

In FY16, Governor Phil Bryant issued a Statewide Burn Ban. During that time, information distribution efforts centered predominately on wildfire prevention, burn bans, and media coverage of wildfire activity statewide.

MFC Outreach Programs
Adult & Youth Programs 198
Participants 80,609*

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

Quick Facts

  • $62,800 was distributed to state and local governments, non profit groups, and educational institutions through the Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant Program.