11/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2021 10:58
Funds provided by USDA Forest Service-Region 8 and Forest Health Protection can assist landowners with conducting first thin operations in overly dense, pulpwood sized pine stands in 21 East Texas counties.
"Our goal through this program is to reduce the potential for SPB attacks on our forests while simultaneously increasing tree growth and vigor," said Shane Harrington, Texas A&M Forest Service Program Leader.
Since the inception of the SPB Prevention Program, over 100,000 acres have been treated throughout East Texas.
"This program has a successful history of assisting forest landowners by reducing their potential for hosting future SPB attacks as well as increasing overall forest health and resiliency, which is what sound forest management is about," said Harrington.
Eligible landowners may receive up to $50 per acre, with a 100 acre maximum, to assist in conducting first thin operations. The forested property must meet the set criteria and be located within one of the 21 priority counties which include: Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, Hardin, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.
Applications are due by January 7, 2022 and can be submitted through local Texas A&M Forest Service offices for the eligible counties. Once applications have been submitted, they will go through a ranking process based on location, forest conditions, proximity to national forest lands and past participation in the program. After applications are ranked, landowners will be notified about their application status. All approved thinning projects must be completed within 14 months of the approval date.
For program criteria, requirements and an application, interested landowners can visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/SPB or contact their local Texas A&M Forest Service office.