The trust fund will benefit public and private lands through grants.
Tuesday, Governor Tate Reeves signed House Bill 606, the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Act, into law. The trust fund can hold a total of $20 million at any given time and the Legislature appropriated $10 million during the 2022 Session.
The fund will also allow for additional federal dollars to be funneled to the state in support of conservation and environmental efforts.
“Mississippi is the most beautiful state in the nation. From our rivers and forests to our farmlands and coastlines, we have been abundantly blessed by the Lord with a tremendous wealth of natural beauty,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “This massive new resource will offer protections for our land that will pay dividends for years to come. We will ensure that we pass on the rich and beautiful natural heritage of Mississippi to our children and grandchildren.”
The fund will be governed by a board who will review the direction of the money into projects and programs that facilitate care for parks and rivers across the state.
This money will be used for a variety of worthy causes. It can help improve recreation and trails, restore public waters and lands, expand conservation education, enhance privately owned agricultural lands and forests, and protect our wealth of wetlands, forests, grasslands, and other unique habitats.
Governor Reeves remarked that Mississippi has incredibly high numbers of farmers, fisherman, hunters, ranchers, and other individuals whose professions rely on the land. This legislation takes steps to ensure the continued health of Mississippi lands that are relied on by these many Mississippians.
Furthermore, outdoor recreation in Mississippi generates over $8 billion in revenue each year and helps to support more than 79,000 jobs.