The seventh annual Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Expo will be held on August 25 27 at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At the Expo, on Friday, August 25, there will be a workshop titled Restoring Your Forest After Hurricane Katrina. It is sponsored by Land Bank South, Hattiesburg and Poplarville locations. Registration for the workshop will begin at 3:00 p.m.
Speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mississippi Extension Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Mississippi and the private sector will cover topics such as land evaluation, cost-share programs, tax benefits, insects and diseases, invasive species, wildlife management and reforestation.
Steve Melton with the Farm Service Agency will discuss the Emergency Forestry Conservation Program. He will focus on the local land rental rates and cost-share rates for replanting.
Jim Barnes with the Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss the Emergency Watershed Program and its cost-share rates for removing downed timber.
Evan Nebeker with the Mississippi State Extension Service will discuss the potential problems with pine bark beetles and other insects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Jim Elledge, a consulting forester, will discuss how to evaluate the standing stock of timber on your land to determine if reforestation is necessary. He will also discuss natural and artificial regeneration methods.
John Hodges, formally with the Mississippi Extension Service, will discuss bottomland hardwood restoration, including stand evaluations and regeneration methods.
Debbie Gaddis with the Mississippi Extension Service will discuss state and federal income tax provisions for reforestation.
Glen Hughes, also with the Mississippi Extension Service, will discuss the differences among loblolly, slash and longleaf pines when subjected to Hurricane force winds.
Russ Walsh with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks will discuss habitat management for bobwhite quail and other species of wildlife.
Randy Browning with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wildlife Mississippi will discuss invasive species and how to control them. He will also discuss the tax benefits of conservation easements and the types of land that are eligible.
If you have forest land that has been significantly damaged from Hurricane Katrina, this is a workshop you don't want to miss. The workshop is free to attendees of the Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Expo, which has a $6.00/adult entry fee. For a complete workshop schedule, go to www.wildlifemiss.org.
James L. Cummins is Executive Director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant resources throughout Mississippi. Their web site is www.wildlifemiss.org.
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