For Immediate Release
August 5, 1998

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404-679-7291

MISSISSIPPI FATHER AND SON AWARDED
1998 NATIONAL WETLANDS CONSERVATION AWARD

Two Natchez, Mississippi landowners are to receive the coveted 1998 National Wetlands Conservation Award for the Southeast Region at an August 12, 1998, ceremony on in New Orleans, Louisiana. The award, presented annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to individuals in the Southeast Region, honors citizens who have made significant efforts to protect, enhance and restore our Nation's wetlands.

Charles C. Feltus and son, Charles C. Feltus, Jr., with the aid of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, are preventing flooding on 1,000 acres of their property in the Mississippi flood plain and are reforesting 400 of those acres to bottomland hardwoods.

"The Feltus's have provided us with a rare opportunity to restore feeding and nesting habitat for bald eagles located directly across the river from their property," says the Service's Southeast Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton. "Several species of neotropical migratory birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, and fish will also benefit," he said

The Feltus's have partnered with the Service to plant hardwood seedlings on 400 acres of marginal crop land that will help reduce flooding and decrease sediment loads in the river, said Calvin Lunceford of the Service's Vicksburg, Mississippi, Field Office. He noted that the restoration and reforestation of 700 acres of marginal crop land and 300 acres of wooded wetlands has been ongoing for the last year and a half.

Also involved in helping to complete these projects have been Ducks Unlimited, Inc., who contributed water control structures, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service that contributed design and engineering work. The Feltus's installed the water control structures, ditch plugs, and did levee work. Reforestation has begun and will continue over the next 2 years, Lunceford said.

Reforestation on the Feltus's land is being accomplished through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program. Through Partners, the Service forms an alliance with private landowners and other organizations to protect and improve wildlife habitat on private land while the land remains in private ownership. For more information about the program, please contact the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, telephone 404/679-7138.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service's nearly 93 million acres include 514 national wildlife refuges, 78 ecological services field stations, 66 national fish hatcheries, 50 wildlife coordination areas, and 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas.

The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, shooting ranges, and related projects across America.

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Release #: R98-069


1998 News Releases

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