Group Promotes Forestry Industry in South Mississippi
Published May 06, 2016
Valuing and protecting Mississippi’s forests, preserving clean water and supporting a healthy ecosystem were discussed at a recent luncheon for Hancock/Harrison County Forestry and Wildlife Association Policy Makers.
Tedrick Ratcliff Jr., executive vice president of the Mississippi Forestry Association, spoke on the non-economic benefits of a healthy forest industry. “There are tons of opportunities in this part of the world for children and people of all ages to experience so much of our natural resources and to work with landowners to experience all of those natural things,“ he said. Ratcliff emphasized that protecting the environment within the region’s forests will foster a better quality of life and recreational activities for families.
Glenn Hughes, extension forester for Mississippi State University, addressed the economic effects. Hughes said the timberland in South Mississippi is owned by about 16,000 owners and valued at more than $80.6 million, with a standing timber value of $1.7 billion. This property creates 2,213 jobs annually and $9 million in taxes.
Hughes said the forests and those working to maintain them should not be taken for granted. “If you drive around, you see trees all over South Mississippi. A lot of work goes into either getting those trees planted or managing them,” he said. “What we want to do is to manage or sustain it, so that we can have things like paper, cardboard, lumber for houses. We want those for our generation, but also for succeeding generations as well.”