MFC releases forestland economic impact assessment findings - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

MFC releases forestland economic impact assessment findings

Damage after an EF-3 tornado tore through Hattiesburg and Petal. Source: WDAM Damage after an EF-3 tornado tore through Hattiesburg and Petal. Source: WDAM
PINE BELT (WDAM) -

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) conducted an aerial detection flight of the area affected by the EF-3 tornado that traveled through Lamar, Forrest, and Perry counties on January 21, 2017.

The purpose was to assess damage to forested acreage and estimate the potential economic impact, according to the Mississippi Forrestry Commission. 

Here is a summary of the data collected by the MFC on January 24, 2017:

  • Approximately 1,571 forested acres damaged
  • 1,453 acres - privately owned
  • 118 acres - public lands managed by the MFC
  • Approximately 4,320 total acres impacted

Here is the estimated economic impact on privately owned forestland listed by county: 

County

Pine Acres

Hardwood Acres

Mixed Acres

Total Acres

Total Economic Impact

Lamar

484

144

149

777

$ 305,392

Forrest

143

130

127

400

$ 49,504

Perry

161

42

73

276

$ 55,888

Total

788

316

349

1,453

$ 410,784

*

Public forestland and urban forestland within city limits were not used in the first table's calculations. 

The economic impact estimate takes into account young sub-merchantable stands, as well as mature timber, according to the report. 

The value estimate may be low for individual timber stands or landowners, as some experienced the loss of high-value trees.  The amounts used to calculate the value estimate were $5/ ton for pulpwood and $25/ ton for sawtimber. 

The economic impact of the EF-3 tornado on privately owned forestland in the affected area was estimated to be $410,784, according to the report.  

The total economic impact of the EF-3 tornado on all forested acreage in the affected area (including public forestland and urban forestland within city limits) was estimated to be $1,089,750.

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