NCRS, U.S. Forest Service to collaborate in county

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service are working together in an effort to improve forest health on both public and private land all over the United States.

In Pearl River County, the efforts so far are concentrated in the northeast corner of the county, which lies in the upper Black Creek watershed, according to a press release from the USDA.

The nationwide project is called the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Project and will cost $30 million. Of that amount, $1.76 million is allocated for the upper Black Creek project, according to the press release from the USDA, the parent agency of both the NCRS and U.S. Forest Service.

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The money will be used to help reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat, according to the press release. To do that, the agencies are seeking partnerships with private landowners in the area to restore longleaf pines to the area, reduce wildfire risks, reduce sedimentation in the creek and its feeder creeks and restore forest and wildlife habitat, said Kurt Readus, NCRS state conservationist.

“Wildlife and water quality don’t stop at the boundaries between public and private lands,” Readus said.

The two agencies are reviewing additional sites for future conservation efforts by the two agencies and private landowners, according to the release.

For more information, contact Gregory Brinson, ASTC Programs, at 601-965-5205, ext. 2111.