JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Take a drive down the majority of Mississippi’s highways or interstates and you’ll find an unbroken stretch of treeline until you reach the next town. One of the state’s natural resources is its lush forestland. Those endless treelines make you wonder just how much of the state is covered by forest.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) estimates that forestland covers 65% of Mississippi. That equates to about 19.5 million forested acres, which would fill approximately 15 million football fields.
The state’s forestland is made up of 45% hardwood, 29% pine, 17% regeneration and 9% a mix of hardwood and pine. Regeneration is defined as young reforested acres that haven’t been classified as a forest type.
The majority of Mississippi’s forestland is privately owned. About 350,000 people own about 77% of the state’s forestland. Federal, state and tribal entities own about 16% and corporations own 7%.
MFC also estimates that the pine growth-to-harvest ratio is 3:1 and the hardwood growth-to-harvest ratio is 6:1.