Monday, October 24, 2011

MDWFP Gets Longleaf Pine Restoration Grants

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently received two grants to restore longleaf pine forests on public and private lands in Mississippi. Longleaf pine was once common in our 35 southern counties, but is less common now because of overharvest and conversion to other land uses. Well-managed longleaf pine forests are important because they provide quality habitat for numerous wildlife species. Private landowners are showing increased interest in re-establishing longleaf pine because it offers greater resistance to damage from wind and fire, and great potential for wildlife habitat management.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the MDWFP a Competitive State Wildlife Grant to improve more than 3,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat on Marion County and Theodore Mars Wildlife Management Areas in South Mississippi. Funds will be used to improve habitat for endangered wildlife species such as the gopher tortoise and black pine snake, and will also create habitat to benefit white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and bobwhite quail.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded MDWFP, and its partners, the Longleaf Alliance and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve longleaf pine habitat on private lands in Mississippi. This funding allows the MDWFP and the NRCS to more effectively deliver longleaf pine conservation programs in South Mississippi. The MDWFP will provide technical assistance for private landowners interested in restoring and managing longleaf pine plant communities. Habitat management practices, such as planting longleaf or prescribed burning, may be eligible for cost-share programs. Grant funds will also be used to educate landowners, conservationists, and natural resource professionals about the importance of longleaf pine to many wildlife species.

For more information regarding longleaf pine restoration in South Mississippi, contact Tamara Campbell, Longleaf Delivery Specialist, or 601-757-0798, or visit Follow us on Facebook at or Twitter at