Jackson - Gov. Phil Bryant Wednesday signed into law legislation that will protect Mississippi sportsmen's investment in conservation. The assent legislation in H. B. 848 meets the most basic requirement for participation in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) programs. These essential programs, administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, currently provide around $10 million in federal assistance annually to support MDWFP operations. WSFR funding comes from manufacturers' excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, fishing equipment, and boats and motors.
Gov. Bryant stated, "This legislation will ensure that Mississippians continue to see their fair share of WSFR funds coming back to conservation projects in the Magnolia State."
Historically Mississippi has received a total of almost $200 million in WSFR apportioned grant funding. Current programs include operating wildlife management areas and state lakes, teaching hunter and aquatic education, conducting wildlife and fisheries research, stocking fish in public waters, and providing technical guidance to private landowners.
The new assent legislation comes as sportsmen nationwide are celebrating the 75th anniversary of WSFR, widely considered the most significant conservation legislation in American history. Dr. Sam Polles, MDWFP Executive Director, said, "The success of WSFR is predicated on the user pay-public benefit concept. Hunters and anglers remain the primary supporters of conservation for the benefit of all."
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