Mississippiapproved the creation of a fund that would invest in conservation and the outdoors, according to a report.
Two similar bills (HB 606 and HB 1064), which were passed by the House last week, would set up the MississippiStewardship Trust Fund without an additional tax to help fund it.
The bipartisanallocates more than $10 million a year to long-term conservation efforts and provides tens of millions more in federal funds to enhance the program’s effect. This bipartisan bill has been passed with almost unanimous support with a 117-4 vote.
“When we conducted polling on this issue, over 75% of Mississippians supported this approach for a conservation andprogram. This would potentially triple the overall amount of dollars for the outdoors and conservation coming to our state, which in turn would create more jobs and help strengthen our economy,” Alex Littlejohn with The said.
The Housewill encourage innovative public-private conservation partnerships by permitting all Mississippi communities, counties, states, state, and federal agencies, as well as charitable conservation groups, to be involved in project proposals.
Qualified projects would provide safe drinking water to communities, enhance access to public lands, provideopportunities, as well as programs to restore and improve wildlife habitat.
It was also reported that thelast week approved its own bill to fund conservation. SB 2495 would create a conservation funding program for the outdoors, wildlife habitat, and public projects.
Eligible projects would be limited to 20% of Mississippi lands.charities and groups would be excluded from participation. The allocates no funding to the program. It also has a provision to end the program after three years.