Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus’ Sporting Clays Classic Turns Focus to Dedicated Conservation Funding

Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator

Highlights

  • On November 9, the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) hosted its first Sporting Clays Classic that was attended by over 40 individuals, including members of the Caucus and conservation partners.
  • During lunch, attendees listened to a presentation about how dedicated conservation funding would benefit Mississippi.
  • Earlier this year, Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair and National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member Representative Scott Bounds introduced House Bill 1231 (HB 1231), which would have dedicated a portion of the state’s pre-existing sales tax on outdoor sporting goods to the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund.
  • HB 1231 passed the Mississippi House of Representatives with a strong bipartisan vote of 117-2 but ultimately died in conference.

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.
 

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