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Landowners learn from Katrina experiences
HATTIESBURG – Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $888 million in timber damage to Mississippi’s forests in 2005, and an upcoming Mississippi State University panel discussion should help landowners cope with the next big hurricane.
Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the MSU Extension Service, said about 80 percent of the timber loss occurred in a 10-county area from Hattiesburg to the Gulf Coast. The panel discussion, “Hurricane Katrina: Impacts on Forests and Lessons Learned,” will address some of the hurricane-related issues facing forest owners.
The two-part panel discussion will be held Sept. 29 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The event is free and open to the public.
In the first panel, landowners will detail the impacts of Katrina on their forests, how they responded, what they learned and changes they made as a result. The second panel of foresters, a timber buyer and mill managers will discuss the hurricane impacts from their various perspectives.
Landowners can take steps to reduce damage from future hurricanes. According to the National Weather Service, the United States is in a period of more frequent and intense hurricane activity that will last another 15-25 years.
“This is a unique opportunity to learn valuable and often painful lessons from Hurricane Katrina,” Hughes said. “Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if another Katrina will occur; it’s just a matter of when.”
For more information, contact Hughes at (601) 794-0671.