Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Monday, October 01, 2012
Longleaf Pine Projects Ongoing at Marion County WMA
JACKSON - Marion County WMA, located south of Columbia,
Mississippi is the only state-owned WMA in Mississippi that is
predominately forested with longleaf pine. Recently, MDWFP
was awarded a State Wildlife Grant from the US Fish and Wildlife
Service to enhance wildlife habitat in Marion County WMA's longleaf
pine forests. Funds from this grant have been used by MDWFP
personnel to improve its system of firebreaks on Marion County WMA
to allow for an expansion of prescribed burning.
Prescribed fire is the primary tool used to maintain desirable
conditions in longleaf forests at Marion County WMA.
Prescribed burning reduces competition from undesirable woody
plant species, reduces the potential of wildfire, reduces the
disease risk for longleaf pine seedlings, and promotes the growth
of desirable herbaceous vegetation favorable to many wildlife
species. If undesirable woody plant species become too large or
dense, it often becomes impossible to control with prescribed fire.
In these instances, selective herbicides are often utilized
to offer additional control of undesirable woody species such as
gallberry, yaupon, and sweetgum on the area.
MDWFP used a portion of the grant funds to apply selective
herbicides on approximately 700 acres of longleaf pine stands.
MDWFP personnel are also planning to follow up these
treatments with prescribed fire in spring 2013. This
combination of selective herbicides and prescribed fire should
dramatically increase desirable plant communities that benefit many
wildlife species, including bobwhite quail, wild turkeys, and
white-tailed deer, as well as non-game species of concern like the
gopher tortoise and Bachman's sparrow.
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