Forestry Commission to eliminate 75 jobs in wake of deficit

State Forester Charlie Morgan (courtesy)

The Mississippi Forestry Commission is now facing sweeping changes after announcing a $2.67 million shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

The deficit represents a 16 percent decrease from the current fiscal year, prompting a reduction-in-force and statewide reorganization of the department. Roughly 75 positions will be eliminated once the process is complete.

State Forester Charlie Morgan said in a media statement that preserving the Mississippi Forestry Commission’s statutorily mandated responsibility to protect forestland, lives, and homes from wildfire is the Commission’s top priority.

The reorganization model is expected to take effect July 1, 2017.

Employees impacted by the cuts will be able apply for a limited number of positions within the new regions.

State Forester Charlie Morgan said after much deliberation, the difficult decision was made to consolidate and reorganize districts, leaving as many wildland firefighting ‘boots on the ground’ in place as possible.

“The decision to reorganize our districts was not made lightly,” Morgan said. “We are deeply saddened to lose these faithful employees and appreciate their years of service to the state of Mississippi.”
Upon completion of the reorganization process, private landowners may have a different contact person or office for services in their area. Those impacted are encouraged to visit the “Local Contacts” drop down menu on the Commission's website home page for current information regarding local contact people and office locations.