December 19, 2022 — Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2023 Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention Cost-Share Program. Applications are due by February 1, 2023.
Through the program, eligible forest landowners can receive financial and technical assistance related to reducing the threat of SPB infestations and outbreaks.
Funds provided by USDA Forest Service-Region 8 and Forest Health Protection can assist landowners with conducting thin operations in overly dense, pulpwood-sized pine stands in 21 East Texas counties.
“The program aims to reduce the risk that SPB poses to our Texas forests by assisting landowners with stand thinning,” said Allen Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Health Coordinator. “This not only reduces the potential for SPB infestation, it also promotes residual tree vigor, growth and overall stand health.”
Since the SPB Prevention Program began, over 100,000 acres have been treated throughout East Texas.
Eligible landowners may receive up to $50 per acre, with a 100-acre maximum, to assist in conducting first thin operations. The forested property must meet criteria and be in one of the 21 priority counties: Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, Hardin, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.
Applications are due by February 1, 2023 and can be submitted through local Texas A&M Forest Service offices. Completed applications will be ranked based on location, forest conditions, proximity to national forest lands and past participation in the program.
After applications are ranked, landowners will be notified about their application status. All approved thinning projects must be completed within 14 months of the approval date.
For program criteria, requirements and applications, visit
http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/SPB or contact a local Texas A&M Forest Service office here https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/ContactUs/.