There’s a bill in the Mississippi Senate that if passed would abolish the requirement for resident hunting and fishing licenses.
That in itself would cost the state wildlife agency about $16 million, but there’s more and it makes the bill very dangerous.
It would also cost the Mississippi Department Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks millions of dollars annually in federal funds through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund and the Wildlife Restoration Fund.
Bam! There go Mississippi’s wildlife and fishing programs.
Bill sponsor Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez, says it is not her intent to cut funding for the state wildlife agency, only to remove the burden of funding wildlife and fishing programs from the pocketbooks of hunters and fishermen.
But, rest assured, the MDWFP would be ruined, if not this year then in the very near future when the state is back on its normal track of revenue shortfalls. The burden would shift from the users to the state’s general fund, which is already strained. That’s tax money from everybody’s pocket.