Reimbursement available for controlled burns
Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2016
Owners of acreage in Pearl River County who would like to use prescribed burning to manage their forest and wildlife may qualify for reimbursement of some of their costs through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks’ Fire on the Forty program.
Fire on the Forty has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 47,000 acres statewide since it was established in 2011. Controlled fires promote growth of beneficial forbs and grasses, reduce coverage of less-desirable trees and shrubs, and decrease potential for destructive wildfires by reducing fuel loads, according to the program’s website.
Pearl River County is one of nine counties in southern Mississippi and 13 statewide eligible for the cost-sharing program, which can reimburse as much as 50 percent, up to $12.50 an acre, of the cost of the burns. The deadline to apply is Oct. 21.
Many private landowners are reluctant to use fire as a means of managing land because of the cost and potential liability, James L. Cummins, executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, wrote recently. The Fire on the Forty program allows landowners to choose their own contractor and aren’t restricted on the timing or other aspects of their prescribed fire, Cummins wrote.
Applications will be ranked by potential habitat benefits for wildlife.
Other participating counties include Monroe, Lowndes, Noxubee and Prentiss in northern Mississippi and Amite, Pike, Walthall, Jefferson Davis, Covington, Marion, Lamar, and Forrest in southern Mississippi. A map of the viewable areas is available at www.mdwfp.com/fireontheforty.
Fire on the Forty is a partnership between the state agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Mississippi Forestry Commission and others.
Funding for the Fire on the Forty initiative is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mississippi Forestry Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation.