Managing the Family Forest in Mississippi
Mississippi is blessed with some of the most productive and diverse forestland to be found anywhere in the United States. These lands range from the bluff hills surrounding the Delta Region, to stream and river bottoms and floodplains, to clay hill uplands. Mississippi has about 19 million forested acres, approximately 66 percent of the state’s total acreage. These forests play a very important role in the ecology and economy of Mississippi.
About two-thirds of these 19 million acres of forestland in Mississippi are owned by more than 300,000 nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners. There are as many different management goals and levels of activity on these acres as there are forest landowners. To some of these landowners, forest management means only management for timber production. However, in its broadest sense, forest management means management of forestland for the continuous production of goods and services. This can include timber, but it also includes aesthetic values, wildlife protection, water quality, and the pure enjoyment of owning timberland. It is important that you manage your land for those values that are most important to you.
This publication is a collaboration of the U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission,Mississippi State Extension Service, and the Departments of Forestry and Plant Pathology and Entomology at Mississippi State University. It will serve as a primer for forest management for private forest landowners statewide and contains information on various topics, including the importance of having a management plan, pine and hardwood regeneration and management, management practices for multiple uses, best-management practices for water quality, forestry economics, taxes, and forest health. For more detailed information on any of these topics, feel free to contact your county office of the Mississippi Forestry Commission, consulting forester, or Mississippi State University Extension Forester.
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