Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program
NCFS administers a cost-share program aimed at preventing outbreaks of the southern pine beetle, the most destructive forest insect in North Carolina.
The Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program, funded through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, will reimburse non-industrial private forest landowners in North Carolina for some of the cost of practices to manage young pine stands for the prevention of southern pine beetle infestations.
|Precommercial thinning||Trees with no commercial value in young stands are felled to allow remaining trees to grow with less competition for food and sunlight, improving tree growth and health to reduce the stand's susceptibility to the southern pine beetle||50% of actual costs (limited to local prevailing rates)|
Southern pine beetles are smaller than a grain of rice, but have caused great destruction in southern pine forests. The pests bore through the bark, feed on the inner bark tissue and eventually kill the tree. From 1998 to 2002 the pest destroyed $59.5 million worth of timber in North Carolina.
While the pest's attack on North Carolina pine trees appears to have recently subsided throughout the state, prevention efforts remain important because the insect periodically increases to epidemic proportions for reasons not entirely understood.
To apply for assistance, a landowner can contact his or her county forest ranger, who can provide the landowner with an application. To qualify, a county ranger must approve a plan that provides guidelines for managing the pine stand. Plans can be written by NCFS staff or a consulting forester.
Each landowner can receive reimbursements through the program for up to $10,000. The program will only reimburse landowners for 50 percent of the prevailing rate for the pre-commercial thinning or 50 percent of the actual cost to perform the work, whichever costs less.