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Forestry industry rebounds in Katrina's aftermath

from Mississippi State University

bleak as the outlook seemed for Mississippi's forestry industry in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the state's second largest agricultural commodity is slowly recovering. In just a few hours, Katrina leveled the equivalent of what timber growers would harvest throughout Mississippi in a year. The Mississippi Forestry Commission valued the state's loss at $900 million. Eighty percent of that loss occurred in a 10-county area from Hattiesburg to the Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory estimated that about 88 percent of timber in southeast Mississippi was damaged by the hurricane, with Hancock, Pearl River, Harrison, Jackson, Stone and George counties suffering the heaviest destruction. Growers salvaged only about 35 percent of the damaged timber, Dicke said. Without such a large forestry industry and help from other states, growers could not have saved even that much. more

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