Forestland Economic Impact Assessment for EF-3 Tornado


The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) conducted an aerial detection flight of the area affected by the EF-3 tornado that traveled through Lamar, Forrest, and Perry counties on January 21, 2017. The purpose was to assess damage to forested acreage and estimate the potential economic impact.

Summary of the data collected by the MFC on January 24, 2017:

  • Approximately 1,571 forested acres damaged
    • 1,453 acres – privately owned
    • 118 acres – public lands managed by the MFC
  • 4,320 total acres damaged

The estimated economic impact on privately owned forestland is listed below (by county).

Table 1:  Estimated economic impact – private forestland                   

County Pine Acres Hardwood Acres Mixed Acres Total Acres Total Economic Impact
Lamar 484 144 149 777 $ 305,392
Forrest 143 130 127 400 $ 49,504
Perry 161 42 73 276 $ 55,888
Total 788 316 349 1,453 $ 410,784

*Public forestland and urban forestland within city limits were not used in Table 1 calculations.

The economic impact estimate takes into account young sub-merchantable stands, as well as mature timber.  The value estimate may be low for individual timber stands or landowners, as some experienced the loss of high-value trees.  The amounts used to calculate the value estimate were $5/ ton for pulpwood and $25/ ton for sawtimber.

The economic impact of the EF-3 tornado on privately owned forestland in the affected area was estimated to be $410,784.

The total economic impact of the EF-3 tornado on all forested acreage in the affected area (including public forestland and urban forestland within city limits) was estimated to be $1,089,750.



Established in 1926, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) protects the state’s valuable forest resources from wildfire, manages approximately 480,000 acres of forested School Trust Land, and delivers quality forest management services and assistance to both rural and urban landowners. Our mission is to provide active leadership in forest protection, forest management, forest inventory, and effective forest information distribution, necessary for Mississippi’s sustainable forest-based economy.

There are approximately 19.8 million forested acres in Mississippi. The forestry and forest products industry has a $12.79 billion economic impact on the state of Mississippi and represents almost 70,000 jobs.


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Click here to view a map of the path of the tornado