The bill would expand conservation efforts, improve outdoor recreation, and enhance natural resources across the state of Mississippi.
Delta Waterfowl joins 75 percent of recently-polled Mississippi voters in supporting legislation to establish the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Fund this session.
This historic bipartisan legislation would divert already-existing state sales taxes on sporting goods and allocate them to dedicated, conservation efforts to improve wildlife habitat, provide and improve places for people to recreate outdoors and improve overall quality of life — all while supporting local Mississippi economies.
“It’s essential for Mississippi waterfowlers that we get this legislation across the goal line this year,” said Cyrus Baird, senior director of government affairs for Delta Waterfowl. “It would provide substantial funding for quality waterfowl habitat and duck hunting access, including infrastructure investments to provide high quality habitat and hunting on public lands.”
Delta Waterfowl — The Duck Hunters Organization — has identified “deferred” payments to public duck hunting lands in the South as a key barrier to quality waterfowling. The Outdoor Stewardship Fund would support both private and public entities through a competitive grant program overseen by an independent review board to make much-needed habitat improvements benefitting ducks and duck hunters.
In establishing the trust fund, Mississippi will be able to leverage and multiply its investments with other federal and private resources to deliver projects that support outdoor recreation and conservation on all lands in Mississippi.
“Federal programs such as the Pittman-Robertson Act, North American Wetland Conservation Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund prove the immense impact that the conservation dollars of sportsmen and women can play,” Baird said. “Mississippi is one of the only two states in the South without some sort of dedicated state-level conservation funding. Hunters need it. Ducks need it. It’s time.”
Delta Waterfowl is happy to see both the House and Senate have, with bipartisan support, already advanced bills this session to create the Trust Fund. We urge lawmakers to continue working together to send this legislation to Governor Reeves.
Be on the lookout for more updates from Delta Waterfowl and ways to help support this legislation in Mississippi through our Duck Hunters Action Alert System.