Mississippi, USFWS Join on Burning Program

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands.

During 2011, the “Fire on the Forty” program provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 10,000 acres in North and South Mississippi. Similar funding levels are expected this year and applications will be accepted from more counties.

Prescribed fire is an important tool for forest and wildlife management, but many private landowners are reluctant to use it because of cost and liability concerns. As part of the “Fire on the Forty” initiative, the partnership will reimburse burning projects in selected focal counties up to 50 percent of costs for implementing and performing a prescribed burn. These focal counties include Prentiss, Monroe, Lowndes, and Noxubee in North Mississippi, and Amite, Pike, Walthall, Marion, Lamar, and Pearl River in South Mississippi.

To enroll, landowners must submit an application for entry into the program before October 31 to be considered for this year’s funding. All applications will be competitively ranked based on potential habitat benefits for wildlife.

For more information about the “Fire on the Forty” program, including project application forms, visit www.mdwfp.com/fireontheforty, contact John Gruchy at  johng@mdwfp.state.ms.us or call 601-432-2199.