The state of Mississippi compared to its size contains enormous forestland with ecological and economic benefits. Just as it provides habitats for different species of animals, and acts as a carbon sink for greenhouse gases. In the last several years, the forestry sector has assumed a leading role in the state's economy. With a production structure built on private ownership, the forest sector continued to face wildfire threats, and the limited adoption of forest management plans by most landowners. Despite four decades of stability, the impacts of extensive logging and the risks of forest depletion from such practices could emerge as major problems in the future in the absence of effective management. Accordingly, the paper presents an analysis of changing trends in Mississippi's forestry sector. The project uses descriptive statistics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track the changes under a mix-scale model alongside the identification of factors fuelling the problems in the state. In view of that, the results point to the presence of different forest types and ownership categories as well as changing forestland at the state and regional level. GIS mapping revealed clusters of counties filled with concentration of forests in various regions, the risks of forest fire, outbreak of pests and the penetration of wood processing mills statewide. Notwithstanding the partial diffusion of forest management plans and changes attributed to physical, economic and demographic factors, the suggested mitigation measures ranged from the adoption of forest management plans to continued GIS mapping.
Merem, E. C., Twumasi, Y., Wesley, J., Isokpehi, P., Fageir, S., Crisler, M., … Nwagboso, E. (2018). Analyzing Changing Trends in Forest Land Areas of Mississippi. International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 8(1), 35–52. https://doi.org/10.5923/j.ijaf.20180801.06