The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) recently opened sign-up period for the Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Cost-Share program from April 29 through May 29, 2015. The program provides cost share monies for practices that prevent (or minimize) damage from southern pine beetle infestations by promoting healthy forests.
The purpose of the SPB Cost Share Program is to help landowners implement various silvicultural practices that will prevent (or minimize) impacts of southern pine beetle infestations, to suppress current southern pine beetle infestations and to restore healthy, more beetle resistant forests. The primary silvicultural practices targeted under this prevention program are those that enhance the health and vigor of existing pine stands by controlling density/stocking rates and competition levels.
Prevention practices offered through the program include:
- Non-commercial thinning: $70 per acre (for loblolly and shortleaf dominated stands only)
- Pine release: $40 per acre (for loblolly and shortleaf dominated stands only – must have at least 60 square feet of pine basal area or 350 pine trees per acre)
- Prescribed burning: $5 per acre (for loblolly and shortleaf dominated stands only – must have a pine basal area of 60 – 110 square feet per acre)
- Prescribed burning: $5 per acre (for longleaf stands 10 years old or less only)
Visit the SPB Cost Share page on the GFC website to download the applications and other detailed information. The landowner of record should submit an original, signed application to their GFC county office. Applications will be ranked based on score, and approvals will be announced by June 29. Contact your GFC county forester if you have any questions.