Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator
Why It Matters: States, including Mississippi, without a dedicated conservation funding mechanism may leave millions of dollars on the table every year because they cannot provide the match funding for various federal conservation programs.
The Mississippi Caucus’ inaugural Sporting Clays Classic provided a great opportunity for Caucus members to enjoy an afternoon of recreational shooting and listen as the Director of Public Policy for Ducks Unlimited, Southern Region, Ed Penny, spoke to the benefits that dedicated conservation funding could have for the Magnolia State’s sportsmen and women.
Investing in conservation is important for supporting Mississippi’s 782,000 sportsmen and women who contribute more than $3.02 billion to the state’s economy, spend more than $2.2 billion, and support more than 33,580 jobs. In 2020, Mississippi’s sportsmen and women contributed $31.74 million to conservation funding generated through hunting and fishing licenses and excise taxes on sporting related goods, the “user pays – public benefits” structure known as the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF).
Many states across the Southeast have conservation funding mechanisms that complement the ASCF. For example, these states can leverage funds for habitat work through Farm Bill programs that provide $6 billion annually for conservation on private lands across the country. Additionally, funding is available through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs that match state-generated dollars at a 3:1 ratio.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will continue to work with the Caucus as well as in-state and national partners to support the dedicated conservation funding effort in Mississippi.
To learn more about the dedicated conservation funding effort in Mississippi, please click here.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?