Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Monday, November 28

Storm Recovery for Urban Trees --- 2 Free Workshops

When? and Where?
1. Thursday, December 1, 2005. 9:45 am – 3:30 PM at
Orange Grove Community Center, Hwy 49 North, Gulfport

2. Friday, December 2, 2005. 11:00 am-2:00pm at the Old Place, Gautier Family Home, La Maison Gautier, on Hwy 90 in Gautier, just before crossing Singing River Bridge

Who? Homeowners, municipal leaders, planners, landscape architects, arborists, foresters, engineers, contractors and volunteers

Why? Hurricane Katrina bent, broke, and uprooted trees. It blew off leaves, broke limbs, and covered many trees and roots with salt water. But this hurricane is only the first wave of damage to trees in our community. The second and possibly worst wave of damage occurs during debris removal and construction activity. A second wave of tree loss would be a tragedy to our entire community. We have an opportunity to avoid it.

Registation is Free. To help us provide materials and lunch, please register for Orange Grove workshop by contacting the Harrison County Extension Office at To register for Gautier workshop contact the MS Gulf Coast Forestry Council at or 601-672-0755

Questions this workshop will answer:
1. How do I file a casualty loss tax deduction for shade tree damage?
2. What damage is considered light to moderate and my tree is likely to recover?
3. How can I rehabilitate damaged trees back to health?
4. What kinds of damage are considered so serious that the tree needs removal?
5. How can I reduce my risk to further loss of trees, life, and property during debris removal and construction?
6. What are recommended replacement trees and shrubs?
7. Where are funds available to help my trees recover? What help or opportunities are available?

Shade Tree Casualty Loss and Protecting Trees
Remedial Treatment for Damaged Trees
Lunch Provided
Safety During Debris Removal
Landscaping After the Storm
Coastal Program, Resources and Funding
Panel discussion and questions
Gulf Coast Urban Forest Council Meeting (optional)

Sponsors: Harrison/Jackson County Board of Supervisors through Public Law 106-393
MS Urban Forest Council, Gulf Coast Urban Forest Council, County Forestry Associations, MSU Extension Service, MS Forestry Commission, Southern MS Planning and Development District, and Resource Conservation and Development District (NRCS), Audobon and the Gautier Family

Katrina Organics/Biomass Summit -- Jackson, MS -- December 6-7, 2005

The debris stream from Hurricane Katrina in the three Mississippi coastal counties consists of 65% structural debris and 35% vegetative/timber debris. Inland of the three coastal counties, the debris mix consists of 90% vegetative/timber debris and 10% structural debris (FEMA/USACE estimates). Katrina was still rated a Category I hurricane well over 100 miles inland of the coast and decimated much of the State’s southern forest lands. Initial estimates placed the volume of damaged timber in MS from Katrina at approximately 25% of the annual U.S. production, or approximately 19 billion board feet. There are many reasons to recover this organic material and to do so as expeditiously as possible, not the least of which is the need to minimize the environmental threat of catastrophic forest fires in the near future.

U.S. EPA Region 4, in collaboration with the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC), has organized an Organics/Biomass Summit to address the many issues that the State faces in regard to the vegetative/timber debris on the ground. The Summit will be held in Jackson, MS on December 6-7, 2005. Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, many local, State and federal government agencies, as well as other entities, have been working on a variety of issues involving management of the unprecedented amount of organic materials/biomass left behind. This Summit will seek to compliment those efforts by providing additional expertise, valuable input, ideas and viable options that the State can consider while moving forward.

The two-day, facilitated Summit will be a working meeting to address the State's needs and concerns pertaining to a variety of issues involving management of the huge amounts of organic materials/biomass. This gathering is intended as an initial step toward providing the State with adequate insight and expertise in order to identify options and to determine directions in which to proceed. The number of invited Summit participants must be kept to a minimum due to limited available meeting space and to facilitate the most productive meeting possible. Where practicable, experts representing associations have been invited in lieu of individual companies. All participants are being asked to focus their expertise on the concerns and needs of the State. Because this Summit is not intended as a commercial gathering and is by invitation only, please do not invite others who are not listed on the "To" e:mail address line of this correspondence without first discussing their participation with one of the Summit organizing entities listed below. This Summit is intended to provide the State with knowledge, options and overall general direction assistance, with the detailed "nuts & bolts" to be addressed afterward by the individual workgroups that will be formed during the Summit.

Tentative Agenda Time Line (more details to follow next week):
Tuesday, December 6, 2005, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Robert E. Lee Building, Jackson, MS
Wednesday, December 7, 2005, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Robert E. Lee Building, Jackson, MS
Thursday, December 8, 2005, 8:00 a.m. to ? p.m. (optional) - Field visits to southern Miss sites

Areas of Concern/Need and Potential Workgroup Areas of Focus:
reducing the likelihood of forest fires
preventing long-term "abandonment" of chipped wood piles
assisting private land owners
economics - job creation, revenue, commerce
funding and contractual issues
logistics/transportation issues
bioenergy: potential technologies - feasibility; practicality; sustainability
infrastructure development and planning for long-term organic materials management
composting, land application, GreenScapes opportunities
regulatory/statutory issues - areas of potential flexibility or change

Currently-Invited Participants:
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
American Forest & Paper Association
America’s Fund for Communities
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Garick Corporation
Gulf Coast Community Foundation
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Louisiana State University
Mississippi Office of the Governor
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Mississippi Forestry Association
Mississippi Forestry Commission
Mississippi State University
Pat Harrison Waterway District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Composting Council
USDA Forest Service
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (OAR; OPEI; ORD; OSW; Region 4; Region 6)

Lodging Information:
Jamison Inn & Suites (601-206-8923) in north Jackson has a block of 25+ rooms at the rate of $72/night. Reference "Cindy Blaszak" to confirm the rate.
For other issues or inquiries regarding lodging in Jackson, please contact Cindy Blaszak, Joint Field Office (JFO) housing coordinator, at 601-965-2555 (JFO) or 601-818-6379 (cell).

Jamison Inn & Suites
Steve Bond, Manager
585 E. Beasley Road
Exit 102-B off I-55 North
Jackson, Mississippi

If Flying:
Jackson can be expensive to fly into and out of. Typically, less expensive options include airports in Memphis (<3 hour drive to north Jackson), Gulfport-Biloxi (3 hours), New Orleans (3 hours) or Mobile (probably a bit more than 3 hours). Birmingham, AL is about a 4-hour drive to Jackson. Atlanta is a 6-hour drive to Jackson.

Summit Organizers - Contact Information:
EPA Region 4, RCRA Programs Branch
Davy Simonson, 404-562-8457

Mississippi Forestry Commission
Jimmy Mordica, 601-359-2817

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Billy Warden, 601-961-5047
Mark Williams, 601-961-5304

Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce
Jim Lipe, 601-359-1135

Tuesday, November 22

Small Business Administration (SBA) Approves More Than $252M in Loans

Less than three months after Hurricane Katrina hit the state, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved approximately $252.1 million in low-interest disaster loans to help victims rebuild their homes and businesses.

Anyone with disaster related damages should register first with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA, then complete and return the SBA loan application. Interest rates can be as low as 2.687% for homeowners and renters and 4% percent for businesses. Loan terms can be up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA, and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

SBA also offers mitigation funds to disaster victims that have approved physical loans. SBA mitigation funds are designed to help borrowers fund protective measures to prevent damages of the same kind from recurring in the future. To help fund these protective measures, borrowers may request an additional 20% of their approved loan amount.

Additionally, disaster victims with insurance should not wait for a settlement before applying to SBA. If a victim does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

Applications and program information are also available by calling the SBA's National Customer Service Center roll-free at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired. Business loan applications may be downloaded from the SBA Web site at Applications may be returned to any of the Disaster Recovery Centers or be mailed to: U. S. Small Business Administration, National Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

The deadline for returning applications for physical damage is January 11, 2006; the deadline to return economic injury applications is May 29, 2006.

Mississippi Business Journal

Monday, November 21

Companies Assess Katrina Response

By Del Jones, USA TODAY

Corporations have surfaced from the Katrina disaster looking noble in the eyes of the public and with a swagger that says the next time a city is devastated, the private sector will be there to save lives. With 48 hours notice, Team Corporate America will be ready like never before. Trouble is, the next time there might be no notice. The next time a city is wiped out, it could be an 8.5 earthquake in San Francisco or a terrorist nuke in Washington, D.C.

Companies have fine-tuned the 48-hour notice, much as NFL teams are expert in the two-minute drill. When a hurricane is but a distant cotton ball on a satellite image, Cardinal Health and McKesson stockpile drugs and medical supplies at distribution centers near the perimeter. Budweiser switches beer production to canned water. Chevron can evacuate Gulf employees at the rate of 100 per hour. Office Depot employees kick into disaster mode almost robotically, and four days from landfall, someone is booking hotel rooms ahead of the rush.

But the next time, just as companies are lining up for the two-minute drill, they might discover there is no time on the clock. They will have to run the kickoff back for a touchdown. In interviews, executives speak as if their company disaster preparations are approaching perfection. When pressed for flaws, they say they were surprised by the Katrina communications meltdown that caused many to spend days and weeks finding employees, suppliers and customers. They say Katrina demonstrated a costly vulnerability to looters that must be planned for, and reminded them again that they need a second headquarters on the chance the first headquarters is shut down.

Verizon runs disaster war games in an undisclosed underground location. If necessary, Abbott Laboratories can shift decision-making to Germany. It practices all the time, and 20 senior Abbott executives meet four times a year to train and run disaster scenarios.
"Drilling helped us exponentially (to prepare for Katrina)," says Abbott Senior Vice President Joe Nemmers. "We have a very achieving culture. We know how to execute."
But ask how they drill for the terrorist nuke, and declarations become more subdued. Abbott hasn't practiced that one, Nemmers says.

Abbott and many other companies have earned a right to boast. Government efforts in the initial aftermath of Katrina made relief efforts by the private sector look masterful in comparison, and most companies have not been shy about publicizing it. Cracker Barrel, for example, is giving 100,000 meal cards worth $10 to Katrina victims, which it announced last week on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Nearly 290 large companies have contributed $250 million in cash and about $500 million in products at fair market value, according to the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP), a trade organization for corporate contributions and community relations executives.
Generous giving — and crowing — has put a shine on the corporate image that has not been seen at least since before Enron's troubles. A survey by Boston communications company Cone found that 62% of 1,044 adults say companies are better able to respond to disasters than government agencies, and 88% said they have a more favorable impression of companies that came to the aid of Katrina victims.

There is a flip side that may come back to haunt the companies. The survey also says the public now expects a generous and efficient corporate cavalry for subsequent disasters, and more people say the private sector should help solve social problems typically left to the government, such as ending poverty and curbing crime.

Toyota Motor Sales USA security manager Joe Baxter says the real lesson of Katrina is not that people should rely on companies instead of the government, but that people must rely on themselves. Toyota Motor Sales USA is in Southern California, where it's a matter of time before a crippling earthquake strikes, and everyone must have three to five days of food, water, medicine and whatever else they need to survive, Baxter says, because there will not be a multitude of helicopters checking on their comfort.

Companies will be making some changes after Katrina that will pay off in an earthquake or other surprise disaster.

• Just about every major company is ordering satellite phones. "Every plant, every single executive wants one," says Patti Reali, a communications research director at technology consultant Gartner. The phones cost more than $1,000 each and air time costs $1 a minute, so companies won't put satellite phones in the hands of all who desire one. But past sales of about 10,000 satellite phones each month by Iridium and Globalstar will jump 30% to 50% for an extended period, Reali says.

• Companies have also learned that a local disaster, if devastating enough, will spread across states as evacuees flee. A USA TODAY analysis of Katrina found 1.3 million people had dispersed to communities in all 50 states. Merck found itself sending $9.4 million in vaccine to nine states, said Brenda Colatrella, director of Merck's office of contributions. Katrina took on the complexion of a Third World disaster, and companies found themselves responding as such. Each disaster is unique, Colatrella said.

• Corporate postmortems will reveal more lessons. DuPont says its look back at Katrina about what went right and what went wrong is already underway before "the memories fade," says Gil Meyer, director of crisis management. Other companies including Chevron, FedEx and Cardinal Health will also have postmortems, but are still too deep in the Katrina/Rita one-two punch. Best Western's annual convention begins Oct. 23 in Phoenix, and disaster preparedness at its 4,100 hotels worldwide will be at the top of the agenda, CEO David Kong says.

• Trade associations are also planning brainstorming sessions. The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations will meet Oct. 25 at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Thirty companies that make up the board of directors of the ACCP will meet next week at DaimlerChrysler in Auburn Hills, Mich. That board meeting will likely result in a major proposal at the association's annual conference March 12-15 in Orlando, says Curt Weeden, president.
The proposal, Weeden hopes, will be the establishment of a command and control center where companies, relief agencies and local, state and federal governments can make a single phone call or send an e-mail to coordinate giving.

"Katrina frustrated many businesses," Weeden said. "Many couldn't get a straight answer on how and where to ship non-cash donations. They were bounced between government agencies and non-profit relief groups that didn't know how to handle out-of-the-ordinary offers."
A command center would let all companies list the products and services they have available so they can be immediately directed to where such products and services are needed. If a local agency contacts the command center asking for, say, rescue boats, the center will know that ExxonMobil has them. DuPont is among companies that prefer a "pull rather than push" system, Meyer says, so that truckloads of blankets aren't heaped on those who need water.
Service companies such as Deloitte are a major untapped resource, Weeden says, because they have specialized brain power that could solve complex problems in an emergency. A command center might help connect such experts to those who need them.

Perhaps the most potent asset companies can lend to a disaster are the employees that have long lived in the city of catastrophe. Procter & Gamble, for example, had 500 at its Folgers coffee plant in New Orleans. There are Abbott employees familiar with every community, because they call on virtually every hospital in the USA.

Local employees have established business and personal relationships and likely have a gut instinct for what is needed and where. They might know of a local church that can respond more quickly than a megarelief agency and steer their companies' cash and products to the right place, Weeden says. Merck employees in Indonesia and Thailand proved invaluable in getting vaccines to those in need after the tsunami hit Dec. 26, Colatrella said.

The next U.S. megadisaster might be much like the tsunami. Without 48 hours notice, companies can't stick a finger into the wind or make decisions based on public perceptions and pressure, said former FBI agent Anna Winningham, now vice president of operations with Risk Control Strategies. Crucial in a surprise disaster is that companies know who's boss, Winningham says. Disaster decision-making is best done by dictators, she said.
Disasters are by their nature overwhelming, and even CEOs with enormous confidence can feel helpless in the midst of one.

"In times of crisis, people crave strong and supportive leadership," says Kong of Best Western. "A key point is, you've got to stick with the plan," says Steve Odland, CEO of Delray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot, where dealing with hurricanes has become second nature but an instant disaster gives pause. Odland says: "Practice, practice, practice." When companies know the disaster is coming, they must follow the plan "lockstep," and that does not change if the disaster is a surprise. "You just start at T-minus zero," Odland says.

Tuesday, November 15

Analysis: Mississippi Timber Industry Ravaged by Katrina

November 14, 2005 from All Things Considered

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Millions of trees were knocked down when Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi. In the cities, trees crushed a lot of cars and houses. But it's the trees that tumbled in forests that may damage the state's economy the most. Agriculture is crucial to Mississippi. Timber is its second most important agricultural product, and unlike other crops, trees take decades to grow back. Here's NPR's Kathleen Schalch.

Ace Rainey(ph) knew it was going to be bad.

Mr. ACE RAINEY: Huge pines were breaking, falling, going west. You couldn't hear them. The wind was blowing. Like 10 B-29 bombers--that's the noise it was making, like B-29 bombers flying together.

SCHALCH: The storm was not kind to Rainey. The giant tree in his back yard squashed his house. It's still lying in his living room. The storm also knocked over a lot of trees on the patch of land he owns near Hattiesburg.

Mr. RAINEY: What the wind didn't get, it will die now. Bugs and the worms will get in the timber, and it will die.

SCHALCH: Rainey's one of tens of thousands of landowners in areas hit by the storm who count on timber sales for at least part of their income. For tree farmers, it's worse.
(Soundbite of traffic)

SCHALCH: Devo Chamblis(ph) is surrounded by orderly rows of what look like spikes, severed tree trunks, each one about nine inches in diameter and between six and 12 feet high. On the ground, treetops sprawl every which way, their needles now the color of copper. This is what's left of Chamblis' 500-acre stand of loblolly pines.

Mr. DEVO CHAMBLIS (Tree Farmer): Ninety-eight percent destroyed--just total devastation.

SCHALCH: This tree farm sits in Forrest County, Mississippi, 70 miles from the coast. So when he went out to inspect after the storm, Chamblis wasn't prepared for this. It still upsets him to look at it.

Mr. CHAMBLIS: It's like somebody come along and ripping your heart out. You know, you work with something for 20 years or so, and somebody comes along and just tears it up and destroys it.

SCHALCH: Chamblis' snapped-off trees were slated to become two-by-fours. Now they're too short, and bugs are eating them. Chamblis says all these trees are good for is pulp.

Mr. CHAMBLIS: So you're talking about a dime on a dollar.

SCHALCH: That's if Chamblis can find someone to buy them. As Glenn Hughes, an extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University, cautions, Katrina has glutted the market.

Professor GLENN HUGHES (Mississippi State University): It mowed down the equivalent of one to two years' worth of annual harvest for the state of Mississippi in one day.

SCHALCH: And it's made harvesting the wood that can be salvaged much more expensive. Ordinarily huge machines would lumber methodically through farms like this cutting and loading timber. In this jumble of downed trees, it will take men climbing around with chain saws. There aren't anywhere near enough loggers to get all these downed trees to the mills.
(Soundbite of mill activity)

SCHALCH: Mills like this one in Wiggins, Mississippi, are mostly back on line now and working 'round the clock to process salvaged wood. As Hughes explains, this one is making plywood by spinning logs and peeling away wood in thin sheets.

Prof. HUGHES: It's kind of like taking a roll of toilet paper and just pulling a roll of toilet paper out.

SCHALCH: Next, layers of these limp sheets of wood get glued and pressed together. Hughes says in a typical year, Mississippi produces more than a billion dollars' worth of trees and turns them into everything from paper to telephone poles to furniture.

Prof. HUGHES: Somewhere along the line, one in 10 people--or jobs are connected to the forest products industry in Mississippi.

SCHALCH: Eventually, maybe a year and half from now, Hughes says, people with trees still standing may benefit from higher prices. Rebuilding entire cities is going to take a lot of lumber. But right now in some counties between a third and two-thirds of the trees are damaged or destroyed. Timber prices have fallen so low and the cost of harvesting trees has climbed so high that an awful lot of trees will simply be left rotting on the ground. Kathleen Schalch, NPR News.

MICHELE NORRIS (Host): You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright ©1990-2005 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. For further information, please contact NPR's Permissions Coordinator at (202) 513-2000.

MDOT's New Truck Weight Regulations Effective November 7th

Soon after Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama on August 29, the MS Dept. of Transportation issued a Temporary Order of Authority that allowed trucks hauling timber in Mississippi to legally haul up to 95,000 lbs. gross weight, depending on the length of the truck and trailer and the number of load bearing axles. MDOT did not require a written permit, did not restrict this higher weight to only state highways, and did not limit the allowable geographic area.

This was a bold and very helpful action that allowed the forestry and logging community to immediately begin the difficult task of salvaging damaged timber from both public and private timberlands. The Mississippi Forest Recovery Task Force and MFA wishes to thank the leadership of MDOT, and all the agency’s field enforcement personnel, for their full cooperation as together, we worked to overcome many logistical obstacles related to salvage and recovery.

The original Order of Authority
expired on November 6, 2005 and was replaced by a new Order. The new regulations are posted on MDOT’s website and also on the Recovery Task Force’s web blog. Visit either or permit There are three pages in the Order, the first provides instructions for obtaining the necessary written permit which must be in the cab of each truck hauling the increased weight. The second page is the permit itself, and the third is a list of applicable MS counties.

Since November 7, many questions have arisen about the new regulations. The best
, most accurate answers to your trucking questions in Mississippi can be obtained directly from MDOT’s Law Enforcement Division personnel in Jackson, MS. You may call the following personnel at
601.359.1707 and receive answers to all your trucking inquiries:
Chief Willie Huff, Joe Marshall, or Tommy Thames.

MDEQ: Wet Decking Timber Permit Streamlined

A seldom mentioned toll of Hurricane Katrina is the considerable damage to the state’s timber crops. The lengthy fall dry spell immediately following Katrina further exacerbated the problem. The state did not have enough wet-decking facilities to keep the timber moist for efficient harvesting.

MDEQ’s Environmental Permits Division (EPD) quickly identified the impending problems and offered proactive solutions. Within one week of Katrina’s landfall and in the first two days of returning to MDEQ’s offices (remember, electricity was not restored to much of the Jackson area for over a week), EPD employees were able to streamline the permitting process for new wet-decking facilities. The DEQ Permit Board began to issue State Operating Permits (SOPs) within two weeks of landfall.

SOPs allow a facility to operate temporarily, until the regular permitting process may be completed, while forbidding discharge of any kind. That 8 new facilities were operating within two weeks is remarkable, considering the standard permitting process for such a facility normally takes from 90 to 180 days. The SOPs were issued within two days. The streamlined process allowed much of the downed timber to be salvaged.

EPD staff next developed a Wet Deck Log Spray NPDES General Permit. The permit will apply to all facilities currently operating under SOPs. EPA approved the new General Permit within two days, trimming the average process by 18 days. The permit is now in the Public Notice phase (Nov. 8-Dec. 8). Once approved, all facilities utilizing the No Discharge SOPs will be able to operate under the same guidelines as those facilities permitted prior to Katrina.

For more information on MDEQ’s on-going efforts to streamline all permitting processes, please contact Jerry Cain of EPD at To learn more about wet decking permits, please contact Harry Wilson at

EPA Hurricane Public Service Announcements

EPA has released six radio public service announcements (PSAs) warning of potential environmental and health hazards when residents return to their homes and businesses in hurricane impacted areas. Since cleanup activities can pose significant health and environmental challenges, the PSAs are designed to highlight possible hazardous situations residents may be exposed to such as: leaking natural gas lines; carbon monoxide poisoning from using un-vented fuel-burning equipment indoors; toxic fumes from household cleaners and disinfectants; airborne asbestos and lead dust; hazardous waste; and contaminated flood water.

The scripts & audio files are for public use and can be found at They are also being distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to shelters housing evacuees.

Friday, November 11

Forest Landowner Recovery & Tax Workshop Locations

Nov. 15-----------Rankin Rankin Co. Ext. Office--------------- 6:00pm

Nov. 29-------------- Copiah Copiah Ext. Office---------- 7:00pm

For more information, contact: Butch Bailey at (601)794-0671

For a list of County Extension Offices:

Wednesday, November 9

MS Forestry Commission Burn Bans

County Burn Ban Status: Prepared 12:00 pm., November 8, 2005

County -----------------End Date
Lauderdale----------October 31, 2005(extended)
Clarke---------------November 14, 2005
Jones--------------November 30, 2005
Harrison---------------November 7, 2005 (extended)
Stone-------------------November 7, 2005 (extended)
Pike-------------------November 11, 2005
Forrest-----------------------November 13, 2005
Walthall------------November 13, 2005
Jefferson Davis----------------November 17, 2005
Rankin-----------------------November 18, 2005
George----------------------Ban Cancelled November 7, 2005
Greene--------------------------“in effect”
Pearl River-----------------“indefinitely”
Marion--------------------“until further notice”
Lincoln-------------------November 15, 2005
Wayne--------------November 6, 2005 (extended)
Lawrence--------------“until next sufficient rain”
Union---------------November 24, 2005
Covington-----------------December 7, 2005
Hinds----------------------November 27, 2005
Clay ---------------"until sufficient rainfall"
Lowndes --------------------"until danger of fires has passed"
Winston ---------------------"until Further notice"
Copiah ---------------"until further notice"

Monday, November 7

Groups Offer Green for Tree "Triage"

by Mike Keller, Sun Heald

The battered trees of South Mississippi's urban forests will receive a helping hand from state, federal and private grants totaling around $500,000, officials and nonprofit conservation groups said on Friday. Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, a local conservation group, received a Home Depot Foundation grant totaling $100,000 to help save coastal Mississippi's hard-hit urban forests.

"We feel that trees are very important and it is vital that we save them," said Judy Steckler, the director of Land Trust. Ed Macie, a representative of the U.S. Forest Service, which brokered the grant, said the money will be used in five areas of tree "triage" during the project called the "Mississippi Live Oak Rescue Mission."

The money will be used to pack exposed roots in good soil, place mulch around the trees, hire water trucks to flush salt from roots, and for protective fencing to be placed around healing trees. Steckler said her group was in the best position to use the grant money for all three coastal counties. She said Land Trust's non-governmental status allows them to go on private property to save trees; government employees must get right-of-entry forms signed and filed.

Two other grants, one from the Mississippi Forestry Commission and one from the U.S. Forest Service, will also go specifically to roadside trees and to help "urban and community forestry." Walter Passmore of the Mississippi Forestry Commission said an analysis of urban forests showed the state lost around 3.5 million trees totaling $1.1 billion in damage. He said values were estimated by costs to replace the trees, but also by intangible values trees add to communities, such as higher real estate prices and energy savings from buildings shaded by them.

Before Katrina, development had already reduced Harrison County's tree cover by 40 percent in the last several years, so the initial grants will be the seed in the long process. The Home Depot Foundation's $100,000 grant "is probably not going to go a long way but maybe we could use it as a basis to get more support," said Donna Yowell, the executive director of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.

Officials hope to extend the grant money by using local volunteers and donations instead of paid contractors. "We're short on manpower and money," said Passmore. "Something as simple as people volunteering to spread mulch and soil would really help out a lot."

Saturday, November 5

Katrina, Rita Could Supply 50,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy;Green Energy Resources Plan Would Half U.S. Clean Up Cost

Green Energy Resources is forging American efforts to recycle hurricane damaged wood for renewable energy. Hurricane wood waste could generate up to 10 percent of America’s electric power needs. Nearly 50 million tons of wood waste was openly dumped in Florida last year from four hurricanes. Over 200,250 megawatt biomass power plants could have reduced our energy vulnerability and saved taxpayers billions of dollars. The $1.5 billion dollars in FEMA awarded contracts so far this year is 3 times greater than all federal monies appropriated for all renewable energy in the U.S. Energy bill.

Green Energy Resources has pledged to purchase up to 2 million tons of woodchips from the Gulf states for international export. Joseph C Murray, Green Energy Resources CEO, announced today, it could purchase another million tons for power plants in the North East.Wood biomass for energy creates jobs, new exports and diversifies our energy structure. Biomass can be transformed into ethanol, gasified or mixed with coal to reduce green house gases. Green Energy Resources was the first American company to export wood biomass for energy. The demand for wood biomass is expected to increase with the newly agreed upon North East states Kyoto like compact.

Twenty new biomass power plants are expected to be built in the Northeast in 2006 alone. The hurricanes exposed current U.S. energy policy as grossly inadequate. The evacuation disasters of New Orleans and Houston are major setbacks to any nuclear power comebacks in the United States.In other company news, Green Energy Resources announced a third quarter profit The profit of $160,000 meets target expectations. The company has hit or exceeded profit targets each quarter this year. The 2005 goal of $800,000 is 50 percent higher than 2004 profits. Green Energy Resources anticipates rapid growth for 2006 with several new supply contracts. Green Energy Resources has plans to list and issue an IPO on the London stock exchange in 2006 as well.

Green Energy Resources operates on its own self generated revenues, has no debt and has not raised or taken any public money.Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the companies' actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, market conditions, competitive factors, the ability to successfully complete additional financings and other risks.

ContactGreen Energy Resources
Joseph Murray

Friday, November 4

Agriculture Secretary Johanns Announces $800 million in Disaster Assistance

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced a proposal to dedicate $800 million in hurricane recovery funds for agricultural and timber producers, rural low-income housing assistance, restoration of natural resources and national forests, commodity food assistance programs, and rebuilding of USDA facilities.

"The hurricanes dealt a blow to agricultural and timber producers in the Gulf region," said Johanns. "These funds will provide direct assistance to producers, as well as indirect aid through grants and loans. USDA is committed to assisting with long-term recovery in the region."

USDA is authorizing $250 million for crop disaster, livestock, dairy, tree and aquaculture assistance. These funds are authorized under Section 32 of the Agricultural Act of August 24, 1935, which allows the Secretary to restore producers' purchasing power. A distribution plan for the $250 million of Section 32 funds is still being finalized.

Additionally, $550 million in hurricane recovery aid is proposed through a reallocation of existing funds. These funds would go toward cost-share assistance for emergency cleanup of agricultural and timber lands as well as watersheds, rental and home repair assistance for low-income rural residents, the rebuilding of USDA research centers and relocation of USDA personnel.

These funds would be distributed as follows:
-$160 million for the Farm Service Agency to provide cost-share assistance for emergency measures to clean-up and repair hurricane-related damage of agricultural lands;
-$200 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide cost-share assistance to retard runoff, prevent soil erosion, and repair watersheds;
-$50 million for a new forestry disaster assistance fund to provide cost-share grants to states to assist timber land owners with debris removal, timber salvage, wildfire mitigation, and wildlife habitat stabilization;
-$14 million for the Forest Service to repair roads, bridges and facilities on national forest lands in the affected regions;
-$37 million for the Rural Housing Service to provide housing repair grants and loans to low-income rural homeowners and to replenish rental assistance accounts drawn-down to provide temporary housing assistance immediately following the hurricane;
-$4 million for the Food and Nutrition Service to replace commodities that were in storage in the New Orleans area and destroyed during the hurricane;
-$15 million for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to cleanup and undertake salvaging efforts at the ARS facility in Poplarville, Mississippi, and the Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana; and
-$70 million for the National Finance Center to pay salary and expenses associated with the temporary relocation of the Center.

More information about USDA's hurricane response is available at

Thursday, November 3

MDOT: Temporary Hurricane Timber Salvage Permit

Temporary Hurricane Timber Salvage Permit

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused extensive damage to timber in Mississippi. Damaged timber must be salvaged quickly to ensure its marketability. Literal compliance by transporters of unprocessed timber products with the requirements in Section 63, Mississippi Statutes, relating to the weight limits for commercial vehicles, may impede the shipment of unprocessed timber products affected by the disaster. To aid with timely salvage operations and to alleviate further economical damage to the Mississippi timber industry the Mississippi Department of Transportation Office of Enforcement is issuing a Temporary Order of Authority to allow the transport of unprocessed timber from the affected areas to the first point of storage or processing under the following guidelines. This Temporary Order is effective from November 6, 2005 until February 6, 2006. The affected counties are attached and will be re-evaluated every 30 days. It is the transporters responsibility to be aware of any changes to this list.

1. The weight for any such commercial vehicle transporting unprocessed timber on specified roadways maintained by the State of Mississippi shall not exceed the following:

A. The maximum Gross Vehicle Weight for vehicles equipped with five (5) weight-bearing axles with outer bridge spans of not less than forty (40) feet, but less than fifty-one (51) feet, shall not exceed ninety thousand (90,000) pounds. Tandem axles shall not exceed 42,000 lbs. Steer axle shall not exceed 20,000 lbs

B. The maximum Gross Vehicle Weight for vehicles equipped with five (5) weight-bearing axles with outer bridge spans of not less than fifty-one (51) feet shall not exceed ninety-five thousand (95,000) pounds. Tandem axles shall not exceed 42,000 lbs. Steer axle shall not exceed 20,000 lbs

C. The maximum Gross Vehicle Weight for vehicles equipped with four (4) weight-bearing axles with outer bridge spans of not less than forty-three (43) feet shall not exceed eighty thousand (80,000) pounds. Tandem axles shall not exceed 42,000 lbs. Steer axle shall not exceed 20,000 lbs

D. The total length for any vehicle identified above shall not exceed eighty (80) feet. Rear overhang shall not exceed 28 feet. Daylight movement only for any overhang 4 feet or over.

2. Nothing in this Temporary Permit shall be construed to allow any vehicle to exceed weight limits posted for bridges and like structures, nor shall anything in this Temporary Permit be construed to relieve any vehicle or the carrier, owner, or driver from compliance with any restrictions other than those specified in this Permit, or from any statute, rule, order or other legal requirement not specifically waived herein including Mississippi registration, apportioned tags, or Mississippi temporary registration.

3. Nothing in this Temporary Permit allows any vehicle to travel on County maintained roadways. The County/Counties Board of Supervisors or Designee must be contacted for permits and routing information.
Information required for the temporary Hurricane Timber Salvage Permit:
1. Company Name
2. Phone number and Fax number
3. Signature of applicant

Questions or request for applications should be directed to Permit Office in Jackson.
Phone (888)737-0061
Fax #: (601)359-5928 or (601)359-1663
Office Hours: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

The permittee must sign and fax the timber salvage permit to the permit office for approval.

The permittee will place a signed and approved copy of the Permit in the cab of the vehicle. If Permit is not in the vehicle it may be deemed not to be permitted and may be penalized accordingly.

Tommy Thames (601)359-1538
Girtha Richard (601)359-1574

Temporary Hurricane Timber Salvage Permit

Wednesday, November 2

Workshop for Foresters: Managing Understocked Stands: The Aftermath of Katrina

Damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left many forest stands understocked and needing restoration and/or rehabilitation. While many stands are so damaged they must be liquidated and regenerated artificially, partially damaged stands may be rehabilitated using traditional forest management methods such as group selection. Dr. Jim Guldin and Dr. Don Bragg from the Arkansas Forestry Sciences Laboratory of the USDA Forest Service have expertise in rehabilitation of storm damaged pine stands and have agreed to share their knowledge and experience with Mississippi foresters and land managers in this one-day workshop. Dr. John Hodges, noted hardwood silviculturist from Mississippi State University, provides us with recommendations on rehabilitating hardwood stands damaged by hurricanes.

The workshop is technical and is recommended for professional foresters, especially forestry consultants and service foresters, as well as professional land managers. It is not suitable for landowners without thorough grounding in silviculture.

Managing Understocked Stands: The Aftermath of Katrina