Texas A&M Forest Service is now accepting applications for the 2020 Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention Cost-Share Program. Through this program, eligible forest landowners can receive financial and technical assistance related to reducing the threat of future SPB infestations and outbreaks.

Funds provided by USDA Forest Service-Region 8 and Forest Health Protection can assist landowners with conducting first thin operations in overly dense, pulpwood sized pine stands in 21 East Texas counties.

“Our goal through this program is to reduce the potential for SPB attacks on our forests while simultaneously increasing tree growth and vigor,” said Shane Harrington, Texas A&M Forest Service Program Leader.

Since the inception of the SPB Prevention Program, over 100,000 acres have been treated throughout East Texas.

“This program has a successful history of assisting forest landowners by reducing their potential for hosting future SPB attacks as well as increasing overall forest health and resiliency, which is what sound forest management is about,” said Harrington.

Eligible landowners may receive up to $50 per acre, with a 100 acre maximum, to assist in conducting first thin operations. The forested property must meet the set criteria and be located within one of the 21 priority counties which include: Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, Hardin, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.

Applications are due by November 1, 2020 and can be submitted through local Texas A&M Forest Service offices for the eligible counties. Additionally, all approved thinning projects must be completed within 12 months of the approval date

For program criteria, requirements and an application, interested landowners can visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/SPB or contact their local Texas A&M Forest Service office.