Alabama Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program

Financial incentives are available for a limited time to help forest landowners in Alabama protect pine forests from bark beetle attacks. Federal funds distributed through the USDA Forest Service and administered by the Alabama Forestry Commission will be awarded to qualified private landowners once approved practices are completed.  The deadline to apply for financial assistance is November 22, 2007.

The Southern pine beetle (SPB) is the number one killer of pines in Alabama. Unmanaged and overcrowded stands of loblolly and shortleaf pines are susceptible to attack. Epidemic populations of this bark beetle have occurred in eight of the last ten years in Alabama. Expanding populations, if not controlled, may devastate entire forests causing millions of dollars in damage.

Thinning of overly dense, slow-growing pine stands will stimulate growth and vigor in young stands and reduce the SPB hazard. To qualify for federal funds, your pine stand must be medium to very high SPB hazard and you must receive a written approval from the Alabama Forestry Commission before beginning a thinning practice. You must meet certain program guidelines when implementing the thinning activities. Higher rated SPB hazard stands located in counties with a high risk of tree mortality from SPB receive top priority.


Practices that qualify for these incentive funds are:

• Precommercial Thinning: To qualify for incentives for precommercial thinning, existing loblolly or shortleaf pine stands must be at least 10 acres in size, with an SPB hazard score of 100 or more (very high, high, or medium) OR greater than 500 trees per acre, and 7-16 years of age. Incentive costs will be reimbursed to the landowner at the rate of $55/acre, up to $5,000 per landowner per year.
 

• First Thinning of Pine Stands: To qualify for incentives for first thinning, existing loblolly or shortleaf pine stands must be at least 10 acres in size, with an SPB hazard score of 100 or more (very high, high, or medium), and 17+ years of age. Incentive costs will be reimbursed to the landowner at the rate of $35/acre, up to $5,000 per landowner per year.


• On soils rated High Hazard for Annosus Root Rot, Borax must be applied to the stumps after thinning. This will be reimbursed at the rate of $10/acre to the landowner.


To apply for funding, contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission office for a sign-up form. If you are unsure of your local office’s address or phone number, contact the state Landowner Assistance Forester, Arthur Hitt, by calling (334) 240-9323 or your local Alabama Forestry Commission office.

The SPB Prevention Signup-Agreement Form must be received or postmarked by November 22, 2006. Applicants will receive notice of acceptance or rejection along with further program guidelines by January 16, 2007. If accepted, all thinning practices must be completed according to program guidelines, and invoices received by September 14, 2007.

In the short term, the incentives are designed to offset some of the costs of SPB prevention measures. The long-term goal is to reduce the susceptibility of Alabama forests to future SPB outbreaks.


Contact Alabama Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program


Contact Alabama Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program

Arthur Hitt
Landowner Assistance Forester
Alabama
Phone: (334)240-9323


 

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Alabama