Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2016 Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program. Through this cost-share program eligible forest landowners can receive financial and technical assistance related to reducing the threat of future SPB infestations and outbreaks.
Funds provided by USDA Forest Service-Region 8 and Forest Health Protection can assist landowners with conducting first thin operations in overly dense, pulpwood size pine stands in 23 East Texas counties.
“Our goal through this program is to reduce the potential for southern pine beetle attacks on our forests while increasing tree growth and vigor,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Staff Forester Shane Harrington.
Thinning minimizes the chances of trees becoming diseased or attacked by insects especially during times of drought or other extreme weather conditions, and promotes tree vigor and health by providing more room for remaining trees to grow, creating less competition for available nutrients and water.
By proactively managing forest stands, landowners play a key role in decreasing the threat of SPB as well as other insect and disease outbreaks.
Eligible landowners may receive up to $50 per acre (100 acre maximum) to conduct first thin operations.
The forested property must meet several criteria and be located within one of the 23 priority counties which include: Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.
Applications are due by June 20. For an application, additional program criteria and requirements, interested landowners can go to http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/SPB or contact their local Texas A&M Forest Service office at http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/contactus.