Inside the Source: Pascagoula River Project

March 25, 2020

Below is an excerpt of an article featured in The Forestry Source, March 2020. To learn more about The Forestry Source, click here. To learn more about SAF membership, click here.

Mississippi Forestry Commission Enlarges Pascagoula River Project
By Steve Wilent

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) recently received a 2019 Regional Forester’s Honor Award from the US Forest Service for its work on the Pascagoula River Conservation Lands Project, which is designed to protect bottomland hardwoods, riparian forests, and adjacent upland forests along the Pascagoula River. The Forest Service, the MFC, The Nature Conservancy, and other partners have worked since the early 1970s to conserve an 85-mile forested corridor of public and private land along the river, which is the largest undammed, free-flowing river (by volume) in the continental US.

Most recently, the MFC acquired three tracts totaling 3,338 acres along the river. Of the $7,035,000 total purchase price for the three parcels, $5,035,000 came to the MFC in the form of a federal Forest Legacy Program (FLP) grant; the state provided the remaining $2 million. The tracts will be managed as working forests, public recreation areas, wildlife habitat, university research areas, and forest-management demonstration sites, as well as for historic preservation.

The Regional Forester’s Honor Award recognizes significant contributions to sustaining the Forest Service’s mission: sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands, and meeting the needs of present and future generations.

“We are extremely honored to receive this recognition for the Pascagoula River Conservation Lands Project,” said Russell Bozeman, Mississippi’s state forester. “This project will have tremendous impacts on the forests, wildlife, and economy of the region.”

The three tracts, which have been working forests for more than 100 years, connect and expand large contiguous blocks of national forest, Nature Conservancy properties, state wildlife management areas, and coastal preserves.

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