A new trust fund has been established for the improvement of the Mississippi outdoors with Governor Tate Reeve’s signing of the Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund (HB 606).
With the Governor’s signature this afternoon, Mississippi will now have an appropriation to aid in providing funding for the improvement of the state’s parks, wetlands, and outdoors.
“With the bill’s creation, this will unlock millions in federal dollars that we can invest in our state and help to further protect our environment,” Reeves explained. “Today, we are making a generational commitment to Mississippi.”
Two bills were debated between legislators for months about where the funds would be derived from before the eventual passing of a combined version of the bill at the end of March.
The final passing of the bill included the following:
- Funding will derive from appropriation with a cap of $20 million, excluding federal funds, but there is no minimum amount that must be allocated by legislators.
- Improvement of state park outdoor recreation features and trails.
- Restoration or enhancement on privately owned working agricultural lands and forests that support conservation of soil, water, habitat of fish and wildlife resources.
- Acquisition and improvement of parks and trails by counties and municipalities, if such parks and trails lie within the jurisdiction of such counties and municipalities.
- Restoration or enhancement projects to create or improve access to public waters and lands for public outdoor recreation, conservation education, or the safe use and enjoyment of permanently protected conservation land.
- Restoration or enhancement of wetlands, native forests, native grasslands, and other unique habitats important for Mississippi’s fish and wildlife.
- Acquisition of critical areas for the provision or protection of clean water, wildlife, hunting, fishing, military installation buffering or natural resource-based outdoor recreation.
For more information about the passing of the Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, continue reading below.