JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Forestry Commission is laying off 75 workers as part of a reorganization brought on by a $2.6 million budget cut.

State Forester Charlie Morgan says the decision to reorganize districts, consolidating seven into four new regions, was not made lightly. Affected employees were notified of the layoffs Thursday. He says they will be given the opportunity to apply for a limited number of positions within the new regions.

The reorganization will take effect July 1.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/2q1HXKH ) the commission laid off 25 workers last year, including all of its arson investigators and equipment mechanics, and eliminated six vacant positions because of state budget cuts.