JACKSON – This year the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is celebrating 80 years of conserving natural resources across the state. The MDWFP is about hunting, fishing, conservation, and education. We are also about protecting the traditions, rites of passage, weekend getaways, and campfire moments that make living in and visiting Mississippi such a rich experience.
“Our eighty year success story in conservation is the result of the continued support of sportsmen and women who purchase privilege licenses annually. With their help, we have witnessed one of the most remarkable conservation restoration efforts in this country,” said MDWFP Executive Director, Dr. Sam Polles.
In 1932, the Mississippi legislature created the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission. Since then, the agency has been the state’s premiere conservation organization and is now known as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. The present day MDWFP is a result of legislative action in 1989 to merge the Department of Wildlife Conservation (formally known as the MS Game and Fish Commission) and the Mississippi Parks Commission.
During the last eight decades, the MDWFP has purchased public lands for outdoor recreation, restored deer and turkey populations, stocked millions of fish, conducted research and surveys, established and enforced regulations, taught hunter, boater, and conservation education courses, provided emergency response during natural disasters, and more.
Approximately 90 percent of our budget comes from user-generated funds. Primary funding sources include hunting and fishing license sales, permit and registration fees, and federal grants from excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment. Hunters and anglers have always provided the primary funding for conservation activities which ultimately benefit all Mississippians.
The agency’s mission is to conserve and enhance Mississippi’s wildlife, fisheries, and parks, provide quality outdoor recreation, and engage the public in natural resource conservation.
Reprinted from “The Outdoor Wire” Tuesday, July 24, 2012