JACKSON, Miss. April 11, 2022 Ducks Unlimited (DU) applauds the Mississippi legislature for finishing its 2022 session on April 5 with an agreement to establish the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund at an initial funding level of $10 million.

Earlier in the 2022 session, the Mississippi Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation (HB 606) to create the Trust, which now relies on annual appropriations to receive funding. This transparent and accountable conservation program will provide counties, cities, state agencies and charitable conservation organizations across Mississippi access to millions of dollars to secure and manage wildlife habitat, provide clean drinking water, improve outdoor recreational areas and support the conservation of farms and working forests.

"Mississippi has an outdoor heritage that is second to none," said Scott Forrest, Mississippi DU state chairman. "And this new Trust will help us conserve waterfowl habitat, foster new hunting opportunities on public lands and provide numerous services to our communities, such as cleaner water and protection from flooding. Ultimately, we're better equipped to protect our state's cherished conservation legacy today than we were yesterday, and we're grateful to the policymakers who made it happen."

Mississippi's outdoor recreation, forestry and agriculture industries employ more than 30% of the state's workforce and contribute more than $15 billion to local economies. Funds from the Trust may also be used for the restoration and enhancement of wetlands and other waterfowl habitats, resulting in improved waterfowl hunting opportunities in the state. Additionally, private landowners will be able to utilize funding to conserve working agricultural lands and forests.

"The Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust will transform conservation and outdoor recreation in our state," said Ed Penny, DU southern region Director of Public Policy. "Now that the first year of funding has finally been secured, Ducks Unlimited and our conservation partners can get to work on projects to restore critical waterfowl habitats in the state. We're thankful for our legislative champions who've prioritized making this happen, and we're excited to demonstrate to them, and most importantly to Mississippians, its many benefits to our economy, wildlife habitat, water quality and outdoor recreation. We're just getting started."

For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to Follow DU's Twitter feed @DUNews1937 to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world 's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 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.

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