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Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report

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Message from the State Forester

Forests make significant, positive contributions to the quality of life for Mississippians. By providing almost 70,000 jobs, a wealth of forest products, improved water quality, green spaces, wildlife habitat, recreational experiences, and economic benefits, forests are vital to the health of our state. The forestry and forest products industry has a $12.79 billion economic impact every year.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (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.

Like FY 2020, the 2021 fiscal year was interesting, with the COVID-19 pandemic still guiding the way business was conducted across the state. However, the procedures our Lead Team put in place last fiscal year continued to guide us and allowed us to continue providing vital forest management services to landowners across the state. I want to thank all of our employees for the way they have remained focused and carried out the agency’s mission during this challenging time.

FY 2021 saw some positives for the forestry and forest products industry in Mississippi. In particular, we had several mills announce plans to move into the state. Lumber demand and prices have increased dramatically over the past year, yet timber prices have remained low. Getting these new mills to locate to Mississippi was a team effort. I want to thank all of our economic development partners, at the state and local level, for their work in securing these new facilities. These new mills will go a long way in creating healthier timber markets in Mississippi. And as I like to say, healthy markets lead to healthy forests, which lead to healthy lives.

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 FY 2021 a productive year.

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.

Please feel free to contact our office anytime. 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.

FY21 Forest Management Accomplishments

Private Land Activities
Landowners Assisted 8,163
*Total Forest Management Plans 427
Acres under Management Plans 123,398
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 9,622

 

Public Land Activities
Timber Sale Receipts $9,760,523
Number of Sales 108
Acres Regenerated 3,991
Boundary Line Maintenance (Miles) 432
Firebreak Maintenance (Miles) 332
Prescribed Burning (Acres) 4,645

 

Prescribed Burning
Private & Public Land Total (Acres) 14,268

 

Forest Resource Development Program
Acres Regenerated or Improved 80,580
Funds Distributed $1,629,605

 

Invasive Plant Control Program for Cogongrass Suppression
Landowners Inspected 16
Total Infested Spots Treated 140
Total Infested Acres Treated 62

Quick Facts

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 19.2 million acres of forestland statewide.

FY21 Wildfires by Cause

Cause Wildfires Acres Burned
Debris Burning 329 3,935
Incendiary 208 5,477
Miscellaneous 193 5,141
Equipment Use 12 135
Undetermined 169 4,318
Lightning 3 210
Smoking 3 16
Campfire 1 1
Children 3 14
Railroad 1 4
Total 922 19,251

Quick Facts

Forest Information

During FY21, 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 FY21, the Firewise Program, and the Underserved Landowner Outreach Program.

MFC Outreach Programs
Adult & Youth Programs 206
Participants 45,901

 

Quick Facts