Wildlife Mississippi works with landowners, public agencies and others to improve
a variety of habitats that support the state’s rich natural heritage, its quality
of life and its strong economy.
Wildlife Mississippi is working to protect, restore and enhance
bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands through conservation easements,
incentives offered through Wetlands Reserve Easements and the Conservation Reserve
Program, mitigation lands, expansion of habitat on
public lands and other efforts. These forests and wetlands help maintain wildlife
populations, lessen flood risks, capture atmospheric carbon and protect water quality.
In Southern Mississippi, we are working with partners to protect, restore and enhance
imperiled longleaf pine forests, which support hundreds
of species of plants, reptiles, amphibians, birds and other wildlife. Well-managed
longleaf pine forests also can provide solid economic returns to private landowners
and have a lower risk from damage of high winds, such as we witnessed after Hurricane
Wildlife Mississippi established its Mississippi Gulf Coast Program
to help guide habitat restoration, watershed planning and water quality improvements
in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a result of fines and settlements
from the spill, Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states are receiving substantial
funding for environmental restoration. Wildlife Mississippi wants to ensure that
this important funding is spent wisely and for the benefit of healthy and resilient
coastal ecosystems. Learn more by reading our
Strategic Plan for people, wildlife and the economy.
Native prairies are among the most endangered habitats
in Mississippi, covering less than 1 percent of their original extent. In response,
Wildlife Mississippi created its Blackland Prairie Restoration Initiative to work
in partnership with landowners, public agencies and researchers to provide incentives
for science-based native prairie restoration.
Upland hardwood and pine forests are found throughout most of Mississippi and are
imperiled. Our work in upland forests focuses on protecting,
restoring and enhancing stands that have been converted to a monoculture of loblolly
pine and are not as economically productive as mixed stands.
Much of Wildlife Mississippi’s wetland protection, restoration and enhancement work
occurs along rivers and streams, which support significant
populations of fish and other aquatic life. Riparian forest corridors provide crucial
wildlife habitat and help protect water quality.
A number of types of financial assistance are available
to private landowners wanting to improve habitat, enhance wildlife populations and
protect water quality, among other benefits. Recently, Wildlife Mississippi and
several partners developed a user-friendly online tool, the Conservation Finance Center, to assist private landowners
in making conservation decisions based on economics. A landowner can make a comparative
financial analysis of land uses to visualize the economic results of undergoing
certain conservation practices.
Wildlife Mississippi also provides technical assistance
to landowners through its staff, publications, field days and workshops.