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Fiscal Year 2019 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 the state’s forests for more than 90 years. The MFC provides expertise, information and support to keep Mississippi’s approximately 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 every year.

The MFC is proud to have achieved American Tree Farm certification on Mississippi’s Public School Trust (16th Section) Lands. This is the first large-scale certification of non-federal public forestland in the nation. Additionally, revenue from timber sales on Public School Trust Lands provide approximately $15.8 million, on average, annually to support public school education.

The MFC is 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.

I want to give a special word of thanks to the MFC’s 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 partnerships ensure the citizens of Mississippi receive the best assistance and service possible.

I would also like to thank our state leaders, commissioners, staff and citizens for their continued support and assistance in making 2019 a productive year.

Please feel free to contact our office any time. We look forward to continuing to serve Mississippians.

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 7,216
*Total Forest Management Plans 342
Acres under Management Plans 91,944
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 8,294


Public Land Activities
Timber Sale Receipts $10,440,587
Number of Sales 204
Acres Regenerated 4,214
Boundary Line Maintenance (Miles) 403
Firebreak Maintenance (Miles) 1,562
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 6,051


Prescribed Burning
Private & Public Land Total (Acres) 14,345


Forest Resource Development Program
Acres Regenerated or Improved 35,890
Funds Distributed $2,151,100


Invasive Plant Control Program for Cogongrass Suppression
Landowners Inspected 119
Total Infested Spots Treated 1,167
Total Infested Acres Treated 389

Quick Facts

  • $2.15 million in FRDP funding was distributed to private forest landowners.
  • Revenue from timber sales on non-federal public forestland totaled $10.44 million.
  • 91, 944 acres were reported under a Certified Stewardship plan or other type of forest management plan in FY19.
  • The MFC continued to partner with the USDA Forest Service to administer a Southern Pine Beetle Prevention and Education Program.
  • MFC helped add the Griffith Tract, 1,233 contiguous acres of forest along the Pascagoula River in George/Jackson Counties, to the Forest Legacy Program.

Forest Protection

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

FY19 Wildfires by Cause

Cause Wildfires Acres Burned
Debris Burning 191 3,061
Incendiary 179 5,340
Miscellaneous 102 1,695
Equipment Use 9 45
Railroad 3 14
Lightning 3 4
Smoking 2 2
Campfire 2 25
Total 491 10,186

Quick Facts

  • MFC Wildland Firefighters responded to and suppressed 491 wildfires that burned 10,186 acres and damaged or destroyed 37 structures.
  • The average wildfire size was 16 acres.
  • 1,040 structures were threatened by wildfire activity and saved by MFC wildland firefighters.
  • $5.09 million in wildland firefighting vehicles and equipment were issued to Mississippi's Volunteer Fire Departments through the Federal Excess Personal Property Program and the Firefighter Program.
  • The MFC awarded 48 grants with a total value of $199,926 to Volunteer Fire Departments.

Forest Information

During FY19, the Public Outreach Division of the Forest Information Department continued to provide public information, outreach programs and area communication support for the MFC.

Two topic-specific outreach programs were housed within the Public Outreach Division in FY19, the Firewise Program and the Underserved Landowner Outreach Program.

MFC Outreach Programs
Adult & Youth Programs 216
Participants 147,599*

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

Quick Facts

  • $23,330 was distributed to state and local governments, non-profit groups, and educational institutions through the Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant Program.