Wildlife Mississippi promotes effective conservation policies in Mississippi affecting, among other issues, wildlife, forests, native grasslands, water quality and marine resources. Wildlife Mississippi works with the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, which we helped form in 2006, to enact pro-sportsmen legislation. Significant pieces of legislation passed in recent years included laws outlawing internet hunting, creating an apprentice hunting license and creating a policy of “no net loss” of public land open for hunting.
Wildlife Mississippi worked with the Mississippi River Landowner’s Alliance and the Legislature to increase the penalties for hunting or engaging in target practice from any levee. The legislation, enacted this year, provides for fines of $2,000 to $5,000 and up to five years in jail for violations. Convictions also carry a forfeiture of hunting and fishing privileges for one year.
Wildlife Mississippi worked with the Legislature to develop tax incentives for landowners desiring to place a conservation easement on land along a scenic river or stream. This special tax credit helps landowners along designated scenic streams with the costs of creating conservation easements to protect bank stability and wildlife habitat.
We worked with the Legislature to support a sales-tax exemption for certain guided tours for the purposes of outdoor recreation, including paddling tours on the Mississippi River. The legislation requires the state Division of Tourism to report on the impact of the exemption on the tourism industry and other economic development activities.
And Wildlife Mississippi works with the Legislature to ensure that wildlife, forestry, environmental and marine resource agencies have adequate funding to fulfill their missions.