If Mississippi and the nation are to continue maintaining healthy wildlife habitats and viable wildlife populations, we must make sure that conservation programs are properly funded and cost-effective. But the trend in U.S. conservation spending is downward, from four percent of the federal budget in the early 1980s to less than one percent today. In response, Wildlife Mississippi is working to ensure that important conservation programs can be sustained. Among other programs, we are working to sustain funding for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners wanting to help protect species of concern; conservation provisions of the federal Farm Bill; federal fisheries programs, including fish hatcheries; and funding for National Wildlife Refuges in Mississippi. We are also encouraging changes in contracting procedures and other policies so limited conservation funding is used wisely and effiicently.