Private lands protection
"Because so much of the MAV has been cleared for agriculture, one of our main focuses in the area is permanently protecting the remaining forested habitat through conservation easements," said Dale James, land protection coordinator for DU's Southern Region.
Conservation easement in Irby Woods; an example of the remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi Delta
DU's conservation easement program helps private landowners permanently protect their land from development through an agreement. Landowners work with DU staff to tailor easements to the conservation values and characteristics of a particular property, as well as to their own needs, objectives and conservation goals. In most cases, easements allow landowners to continue using their property for hunting, fishing, agriculture and timber production while protecting the natural integrity of the land. The easement typically calls for a forest management plan that benefits both landowners and wildlife.
"Because private landowners hold most of the undeveloped land in the United States, including 75 percent of the remaining wetlands, easements are an increasingly vital tool for conservation," James said. "Mississippi landowners have committed to permanently protecting 79,000 acres with donated conservation easements."
DU's goal is to secure the future of Mississippi as a key migration area for waterfowl in North America.
Children create a waterfowling legacy in Mississippi
Children are the future of Mississippi conservation—take your kids out hunting and sign them up for a Greenwing membership today!
Ducks Unlimited celebrated its more than 130 Mississippi Legacy Greenwing members in 2008 by dedicating an Oktibbeha County wildlife area project in their honor. Nearly 100 DU Greenwing youth, parents and grandparents joined members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and DU volunteers and staff to place three plaques at Trim Cane Wildlife Area.
"Greenwings are the future of DU and wetland conservation," said Bruce Lewis, past president of Ducks Unlimited and Mississippi native. "The Legacy Greenwing youth members we recognized on this project today are the wetland conservation leaders of tomorrow." (more)
Mississippi Connection: Forbes Project
The Missouri Coteau of south-central Saskatchewan provides an array of wetland and upland habitat for North America's waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited major sponsors in Mississippi truly understand and appreciate the importance of habitat conservation projects in Canada, as this landscape produces waterfowl that winter and migrate through Mississippi. The Forbes Project is comprised of four individual project segments totaling nearly 700 acres. More than 300 acres of annually cultivated cropland have been converted to dense nesting cover, and 60 acres of wetlands have been restored. Additional native prairie previously used as livestock pasture is now managed for waterfowl production. The following sponsors generously provided funding for the Mississippi Connection Project: Marc and Lainie Anthony, Pam and Larry Edwards, Dr. Marshall and Teresa Hollis, Bruce and Karen Lewis, Joe and Janet Moss, Larry and Sheila Roberts, Neal and Sarah Ballard, Rodney and San Garrison, Curtis and Sharon Hopkins, Jack Moss, Ronal and Patti Roberson and Rea Taylor. (more)