Technical assistance and financial incentives will soon be available to help forest landowners in Alabama implement prevention practices to reduce the susceptibility of their pine stands from a southern pine beetle (SPB) attack. The primary objective of the SPB Prevention Cost-share Program is to help forest landowners implement forest management practices that will ultimately reduce SPB damage and outbreaks in Alabama. Administered by the Alabama Forestry Commission, the program is made possible through a grant from the USDA Forest Service. The application will be available to the public from July 14, 2023, and will remain open until August 31, 2023.

Please note: Landowners may only apply for one practice per year.

Prevention practices available for incentive payments include:

First commercial thinning of loblolly or shortleaf pine stand:

  • Stand must be 12-22 years old.
  • Average diameter at breast height (DBH) should be in the range of 7-16 inches.
  • Trees per acre is greater than or equal to 700, or basal area is greater than or equal to 120 square feet.
  • Thinning reimbursement: $100 per acre.
  • Following the thinning practice, basal area must be less than or equal to 80 square feet.
  • If the stand is rated high for annosus root rot (ARR) and the landowner wishes to use borax treatment, then an extra $20 per acre is awarded as an incentive.
  • Max acreage enrollment is 100 acres per landowner.
Diameter: 7” 8” 9” 10” 11” 12” 13” 14” 15” 16”
Number of trees per acre needed to maintain 80 square feet of basal area
299 229 181 147 121 102 87 75” 65 57

Understory prescribed burning of loblolly or shortleaf pine stand:

  • Average height of the pines must be greater than or equal to 15 feet.
  • The prescribed burn must be an understory burn for fuel reduction.
  • The burn must result in a burn scorch less than or equal to 4 feet tall and/or burned no higher than one-third of the crown.
  • Understory burning reimbursement: $10 per acre.
  • Burn can be conducted by AFC personnel if the landowner is already scheduled for the upcoming burning season.
  • If the landowner is not on an AFC burning list, then they must hire a vendor.
  • Max acreage enrollment is 100 acres per landowner.

Low-density loblolly pine planting for suitable sites:

  • The landowner may receive financial assistance for the cost of the loblolly pine seedlings (containerized or bare root) and the planting operation (machine or hand planting).
  • Plant 400 to 550 trees per acre (plus or minus 15 percent).
  • Planting: $150 per acre.
  • Site preparation, if necessary, must have been completed before enrollment into the cost-share program.
  • Max acreage enrollment is 200 acres per landowner.

NOTE:If the prevention practice involves planting, then a clearcut of the stand must have been completed by April 1, 2023, or the application will not be approved.

Certain requirements must be met before a stand is eligible for the SPB Prevention Cost-share Program:

  • This program is open to non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners who own at least 10 continuous acres of forest land in Alabama.
  • These NIPF owners may include private individuals, joint owners, non-profit organizations, or corporations that are not wood-using industries and do not have publicly-traded stock.
  • Ineligible owners include lands controlled by federal and local governments, wood-using industries or entities that derive more than 50 percent of their gross income from wood-using industries; corporations with publicly-traded stock, or public utility companies.
  • The same acreage cannot be enrolled in other incentive or cost-share programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Click here to apply

For more information on available SPB cost-share programs please contact Austin Reese at 334-274-5507