Conservation Partners Sign Landmark Agreement to Restore Wildlife Habitat on Private Lands in Mississippi
With about two-thirds of our nation’s land in private ownership, landowners are important keepers of essential fish and wildlife habitat. As Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife conservation, noted over 75 years ago, it is prudent that “… we recognize the landowner as the custodian of public game … and compensate … with cash, service or protection for the use of his land …” The Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife are working to do some of those very things.
"I believe that this partnership agreement lays the groundwork
for an effective process for all parties to leverage their limited project
funds and technical assistance efforts for the voluntary conservation
of fish and wildlife resources on private lands in Mississippi, “ said
Ronnie Haynes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regional coordinator
for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Atlanta. “It
is our hope that this cooperative partnership will serve as a working
model for other states in the Southeast Region."
Agencies, corporations and landowners who are interested in learning more about Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and the projects that are being done, can contact Calvin Lunceford, coordinator for Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife and private lands biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife contact information is posted on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mississippi Field Office website at: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/jackson/index.html.
Many of the 21 partners started working together in February 2005 and finalized the memorandum of understanding in February 2006.
Examples of projects in specific habitat types include: bottomland hardwood reforestation and hydrological restoration in wetlands; prescribed burning and timber stand improvement in uplands; reestablishing flows in streams and establishing riparian buffers in aquatic habitats; reestablishing native grasses in the native prairie habitat; and reforestation of longleaf pine in suitable habitat.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 546 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 Ecological Services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286