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Fiscal Year 2017 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 their abundance 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 approximately $19 million (on average) 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 2017 a productive year.

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

Forest Management

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) is charged with promoting sound forest management practices, which help maintain the integrity of the environment and provide for our state’s future natural resource needs.

The MFC offers a variety of forest management programs and services to assist private landowners. The MFC also provides forest management assistance on School Trust forestland in Mississippi.

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

FY19 Forest Management Accomplishments

Private Land Activities
Landowners Assisted 8,956
*Total Forest Management Plans 1,714
Acres under Management Plans 133,397
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 22,308


Public Land Activities
Timber Sale Receipts $13,183,596
Number of Sales 217
Acres Regenerated 7,143
Boundary Line Maintenance (Miles) 390
Firebreak Maintenance (Miles) 615
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 16,518


Prescribed Burning
Private & Public Land Total (Acres) 38,826


Forest Resource Development Program
Acres Regenerated or Improved 21,101
Funds Distributed $2,093,810


Invasive Plant Control Program for Cogongrass Suppression
Cogongrass Applications from Landowners 105
Landowners Inspected 105
Total Infested Spots Treated 815
Total Infested Acres Treated 452

*Certified Stewardship & other Forest Management plans

Quick Facts

  • In FY17, the Forest Resource Development Program distributed $2.09 million to private forest landowners, and 21,101 acres were regenerated or improved.
  • The combined revenue from timber sales on Mississippi School Trust Land and other public lands totaled $13.18 million.
  • In FY17, MFC's cogongrass program assisted 105 landowners and treated 815 cogongrass spots over 450 acres.
  • MFC managed four state forests: Three Rivers, Kurtz, Camden, and Jamie L. Whitten.

Forest Protection

MFC Wildland Firefighters work long hours in demanding and dangerous conditions to protect lives, homes, and forestland. The MFC suppresses, monitors, and detects wildfire activity occurring day and night on approximately 19.8 million acres of forestland statewide.

FY17 Wildfires by Cause

Cause Wildfires Acres Burned
Lightning 10 92
Campfire 10 119
Smoking 19 107
Debris Burning 816 10,180
Incendiary 655 12,963
Equipment Use 72 844
Railroad 3 12
Children 7 16
Miscellaneous 658 8,246
Undetermined 68 995
Total 2,318 33,574


Quick Facts

  • MFC Wildland Firefighters responded to and suppressed 2,318 wildfires that burned 33,574 acres and damaged or destroyed 33 structures.
  • 4,441 structures were threatened by wildfire activity and saved by MFC.
  • The average wildfire size was 14 acres.
  • $10.5 million in wildland firefighting vehicles & equipment were issued to Mississippi Volunteer Fire Departments through MFC's FEPP/ FFP programs.
  • The MFC awarded 43 grants with a total value of $184,500 to Volunteer Fire Departments.

Forest Information

The MFC distributes relevant information to the public regarding all MFC program areas. 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 (radio, television, newspaper, web, print) and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to reach the public.

In FY17, Governor Phil Bryant issued a Partial State Level Burn Ban that lasted from October 11 – December 2, 2016. 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 234
Participants 193,809

Quick Facts

  • $105,283 was distributed to state and local governments, non-profit groups, and educational institutions through the Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant Program.