JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi Forestry Commission will layoff about 75 people due to a $2.67 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year 2018.
MFC officials said the shortfall is about a 16 percent decrease from the current fiscal year.
They said a reduction-in-force and statewide reorganization were deemed necessary based on the severe shortfall of funds.
“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, 2017.
We’re told MCF will consolidate the current seven districts into four new regions. About 75 positions will be eliminated once the reorganization process has been completed, officials said.
Employees affected by the restructuring will be given the opportunity to apply for a limited number of positions within the new regions.