Due to a budget shortfall, the Mississippi Forestry Commission says it is eliminating 75 job positions as it reorganizes. The commission points to $2.67 million less in its budget for fiscal 2018.
It says that’s a 16% decrease from the current fiscal year.
“Preserving the Mississippi Forestry Commission’s statutorily mandated responsibility to protect forestland, lives, and homes from wildfire is our top priority. After much deliberation, the difficult decision was made to consolidate and reorganize districts, leaving as many wildland firefighting ‘boots on the ground’ in place as possible – within the constraints of our current budget restrictions,” said Charlie Morgan, State Forester, Mississippi Forestry Commission. “The decision to reorganize our districts was not made lightly. We are deeply saddened to lose these faithful employees and appreciate their years of service to the state of Mississippi.”
The reorganization model will take effect July 1. It will consolidate the current seven districts into four new regions. Approximately 75 positions will be eliminated once the reorganization process has been completed. Employees affected by the reorganization will be given the opportunity to apply for a limited number of positions within the new regions.