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CONSERVATION CORNER
(For the week of September 20, 2010)
New Website Provides Info on Mississippi Conservation
by James L. Cummins

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, forester, hunter, biologist or farmer, I know you’d rather be outside than inside looking at the computer or even reading this great newspaper. But there’s a new website built especially for folks like you in Mississippi that you won’t want to miss. It’s called the Mississippi Conservation Center and it just hit the internet.

This is a resource designed for landowners and outdoor enthusiasts. Developed with support from the Walton Family Foundation, the site is a project of the Resources First Foundation (RFF), whose mission is connecting people to conservation. And they do mean connect -- there's no requirement to sign up or log in at their websites.

A few clicks and you'll have at your fingertips expert articles, contacts and links to help you plan your outdoor vacation, hire a hunting or fishing guide, find a campsite, hire a registered forester, review updates on U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs, learn about natural history or discover what organizations like Wildlife Mississippi are doing.

The Private Landowner Network, RFF's national product, provides similar resources for the country. However, the Mississippi Center includes special sections devoted solely to bottomland hardwoods and natural heritage tourism. This is because in Mississippi, we increasingly have opportunities to restore our bottomland forests to their former glory.

Best of all, the Mississippi Conservation Center includes a searchable database of experts with one theme in common: they are people who can help you keep your property economically and ecologically viable. The site features the work of estate tax professionals, land use planners, registered foresters and more. What if you are one of those experts? Check to see if you are listed on the Mississippi site! If not, you can submit your information by clicking the “add me to the directory” link on any page, and they will incorporate it into their searchable, mappable database of resource experts.

I invite you to visit the site. If you know of a resource that should be added to the Mississippi Conservation Center, please email Mark at mmass@resourcesfirstfoundation.org. The people at RFF welcome your feedback. Please email Laura at lmass@resourcesfirstfoundation.org with your comments and suggestions. Finally, if you like what you see, you could take a look at the Private Landowner Network and the blog “Keep Working Lands Working.” Leave them a comment and let them know that we sent you!


James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant resources throughout Mississippi.