Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi’s forests, causing an estimated $888 million in timber damage. About 80% of this loss occurred in a 10-county area from Hattiesburg to the coast.
An upcoming event will help landowners, foresters, and others learn how to cope with the next big hurricane. "Hurricane Katrina: Impacts on Forests and Lessons Learned" is a two-part panel discussion to be held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.
The first panel will consists of forest landowners detailing the impacts of Katrina on their forests, how they responded, what they learned, and changes they have made as a result. The second panel will consist of foresters, a timber buyer, and mill managers discussing the impacts of Katrina from their various perspectives.
"This is a unique opportunity to learn valuable and often painful lessons from Hurricane Katrina," said Glenn Hughes, Extension Forestry Professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Hughes said that landowners can take steps to reduce damage from future hurricanes. According to the National Weather Service, the US is in a period of more frequent and intense hurricane activity that will last another 15-25 years. "Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if another Katrina will occur; it’s just a matter of when," said Hughes.
The panel discussion is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29. Registration is at 1:00, and the program runs from 1:30 to 5:00. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact MSU Extension Forestry at 601-794-0671.