Department of Conservation Offers New Incentives for Logging

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Conservation recently expanded its cost-share program for loggers and landowners.

The program now extends to 57 counties in Missouri. Eligible counties include Boone, Callaway, Cole, and Howard.

Part of the MDC's Best Management Practices, the cost-share programs offers financial incentives for eligible loggers and landowners. The MDC will pay loggers $10 to $20 per acre and landowners $5 per acre in which they implement BMP.

According to the MDC, Best Management Practices were established to promote good logging practices for both loggers and landowners. It serves as a guide to minimize damage associated with logging such as water contamination and soil erosion.

"We're concerned about the forest but the soil is the foundation on which those trees grows," said MDC Forest Program Supervisor Jason Jenson. "Also when that soil gets to the stream its going to impact fish somewhere down stream."

The MDC initially received $300,000 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal service that works with states and private land owners, as part of a Conservation Innovation Grant. Jenson said the department has only used about $100,000 of the grant so far.

For Missouri Pacific Lumber president Bucky Pescaglia, working with loggers who implement environmentally conscience practices weighs on his business decisions.

"Best management practices, good logging practices are always a very important part of our business," said Pescaglia. "We want the logs to be there in the future and the trees and the quality of those to be there."

The MDC's grant for the program is set to expire in September, but Jenson said they plan to actively pursue a renewal. 

"This program is really starting to gain momentum," said Jenson. "We're starting to see a lot of new applicants."

Jenson said enrolling for the program is easy. He said to start by talking with a local forester or visiting the MDC website.