The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) Commission elected to continue their involvement in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ state grants program at their recent meeting. Contributions to the program support habitat conservation for waterfowl in Canada.
MDWFP will contribute $100,000 through Ducks Unlimited to conserve waterfowl breeding ground habitat in Saskatchewan. This contribution will be combined with other state contributions and matched dollar for dollar by DU Inc., DU Canada and North American Wetlands Conservation Act funds, resulting in a minimum $400,000 conservation impact.
“Waterfowl and wetlands are a continental resource,” said Ed Penny, MDWFP director of conservation programs. “Mississippi hunters recognize that the ducks hovering over their decoys in the fall originate a long way from here. As such, the commission makes investments on behalf of hunters to help the resource. Revenue from state duck stamps and hunting licenses supports habitat conservation on public lands here at home and on the breeding grounds of the U.S. and Canadian prairies.”
Breeding-ground habitat work is critical for the health of continental waterfowl populations, and Mississippi waterfowl hunters understand that. As such, the more than 8,800 Mississippi DU members are appreciative of MDWFP’s continued contributions to the state grants program.
“Ducks Unlimited is very pleased to see the MDWFP continue making wise investments in waterfowl habitat important to the birds that wing their way to the Magnolia State each year,” said DU Director of Operations Tom Moorman. “As banding data shows us, a large portion of the ducks harvested in Mississippi come from Saskatchewan, so investing the state’s dollars in this region clearly provides the greatest return for Mississippi waterfowl hunters.”
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ state grants program, launched in 1965, is funded largely through hunting license sales. Funds must be used for habitat conservation in Canada, but the distribution of available funding is decided by each state’s wildlife agency commission following a request for funding proposals. Mississippi has been participating in the program since 1977.
“The importance of state grants contributions to Canadian habitat conservation and restoration projects cannot be overstated,” said DU Canada’s Director of International Partnerships Pat Kehoe. “Ducks Unlimited’s programs in the U.S. and Canada are consistent with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and our prairie programs on both sides of the border are structured to protect native, highly productive habitat while also improving waterfowl production in working agricultural landscapes.”
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at www.youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.