News Filed Under Forest Ecology
Few folks may realize that Mississippi forests are adapted to periodic, low-intensity fires.
Many landowners want to make changes in Conservation Reserve Program hardwood plantations because of declining populations of game animals, especially deer.
March is a good time for landowners to take steps to prevent wildfires, not only because it is Wildfire Prevention Month, but also because more fires occur this month.
Heather Alexander, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center, said March sees more wildfires than summer months because it is a time of transition between winter and spring.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Using prescribed fire is an important part of managing private timberland, but doing so correctly requires precision.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is helping to offer “Fire on the Forty: Applying Prescribed Fire on Private Lands.” This workshop is part of the sixth annual meeting of the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council to be held Nov. 12 in Hattiesburg.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, replacing deteriorated wood in U.S. homes costs billions of dollars, but research at Mississippi State University is helping protect homeowners’ wallets and the environment.
“Since 1988, scientists in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center have been studying the development of totally organic biocides,” said Tor Schultz, MSU forest products professor.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A 350-acre area of deep ravines and bluff ridges in Webster County is being preserved to protect its plant and animal diversity that resembles that of the Appalachian Mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains stretch from Alabama to Canada with foothills in northeastern Mississippi. Some 100 miles from these foothills is an area in central Mississippi known as Old Cove. The land is owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. and is home to mature hardwoods, rock outcroppings, reptiles, amphibians and many plant species.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- What can be “greener” than Mississippi forests? Find the answer when Mississippi forests and their products are managed with all of the environment’s best interests in mind.
Glenn Hughes, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, said a growing number of wood product and forest managers are seeking official “green” certification.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians with timberland in production are looking at carbon as a new source of income, and they are learning to manage their land for the most profit while participating in efforts to lower greenhouse gas levels.
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, often called simply carbon, is one of several chemical compounds known today as greenhouse gases, or GHG. These gases occur both naturally and as byproducts of fossil fuel use in various transportation and industrial processes.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Savvy U.S. consumers want to know the pedigree of the products they buy, a trend that is driving change in American production and industry, and Mississippi's forestry industry is no exception.
A nationwide market is developing for forest products produced in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner. Products such as lumber produced under these standards are sold as certified forest products.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Current dry weather makes burning debris a potentially lethal hazard, especially coupled with windy conditions that help spread fire at an alarming rate.
"The southern part of the state is particularly dry, so people should avoid burning debris at all," said Glenn Hughes, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "The fuel is there and ready to go up -- if a spark gets away from you, the wind can move it very quickly."
HATTIESBURG -- A new machine called a "sod scalper" is available to help landowners significantly increase longleaf pine seedling survival.
The scalper is a modified fire plow that removes the top 2 to 3 inches of sod and casts it aside. Longleaf pine seedlings are planted in the resulting 3-foot wide strip, which is free from competing grasses.
Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said research indicates that scalping was the best site preparation treatment for planting longleaf pine on pastures.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi avoided an epidemic of southern pine beetles last year, but a recent survey found epidemic numbers of the beetles in national forests in south Mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forest fires raging out of control in the West give fire a bad name, but in non-drought times, Mississippi foresters use planned fires as management tools.
Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Hattiesburg, said fire historically has been a natural part of Southern pine forests.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It will create a high water bill this summer, but watering the lawn weekly may be the only way to keep some landscape trees alive through Mississippi's drought.
Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Hattiesburg, said pine trees in South Mississippi are probably faring the worst this year. Drought damage, however, is statewide.