This is a press release from The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks
Mississippi's system of wildlife management areas (WMAs) includes mitigation lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and managed by MDWFP.
This unique partnership between state and federal agencies allows USACE to continue their flood protection and navigation activities in the state. This arrangement also provides habitat for a variety of species, including waterfowl, deer, and small game, and offers important public recreational opportunities, and supplies economic benefits to local communities.
However, during the past three years, Lake George, Sky Lake, and Muscadine Farms WMAs, have experienced drastic reductions in federal funding that endangered continued operations. These WMAs, totaling 15,000 acres and located in Yazoo, Humphreys, and Washington counties, were scheduled to close June 30, 2015.
Over the past year, members of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committees, the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus (Caucus), and numerous conservation partners joined collectively in the effort to prevent a closure. Rep. C. Scott Bounds, Chairman for the House Committee on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, and co-chair of the Caucus, said, "I greatly appreciate the cooperation of all our stakeholders in averting the closures of these public lands to the Mississippi's sportsmen and women. Senator Thad Cochran and our entire Congressional delegation, worked hand in hand with MDWFP, Delta Council, Delta Wildlife, Wildlife Mississippi, and Mississippi Wildlife Federation, to ensure that we have no net loss of public land opportunities, and they are to be applauded for their influence in assisting us in these efforts."
This one-time funding will pay for basic maintenance activities on these WMAs for the rest of the year, but continued operations after this point will require additional funding. Sen. Phillip Moran, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks said, "We will continue to work with MDWFP and our partners and stakeholders to seek secure funding for these WMAs beyond 2015."
For more information regarding WMAs, visit us at www.mdwfp.com or call us at 601-432-2400.