The Mississippi River Trust promotes effective conservation practices through its publications, workshops, field days, and other forms of communication by highlighting both the environmental and economic value of proper land and water stewardship.
- Established the Conservation Finance Center, to assist landowners in making conservation decisions based on sound economics.
- Working to advance a concept titled “Conservation Without Conflict.”
- Prepared and distributed a handbook titled Conservation Easements.
- Conducted 346 presentations, workshops, and field days on wildlife photography, longleaf pine, moist-soil/waterfowl management, native prairie restoration, invasive species control, conservation easements, food plot development, fish and wildlife management, and conservation programs of the Farm Bill.
- Co-hosted the Southeastern Prairie Symposium.
- Co-hosted the Private Lands Partners Day which was attended by landowners from 30 states.
- Co-sponsored the Eastern Black Bear Workshop.
- Assisted in the development of the Cogongrass Alliance Group.
- Worked to develop a Conservation Leadership Training Program for gifted students majoring in natural resource programs; 75 students have graduated from it.
Fish and Wildlife Habitat
The Mississippi River Trust focuses on protecting, restoring, or enhancing bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands, longleaf pine forests, native prairies, marine, and other habitats.
- Working with Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability and various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to prevent the conversion of land important to wildlife habitat into developed communities around Mississippi’s military installations to both conserve wildlife and allow the mission of the military base to continue.
- Established conservation easements on 54,921 acres of bottomland hardwoods and wetlands; mixed pine and upland hardwoods; native prairie; and wetland savanna and longleaf pine to ensure their perpetual protection.
- In cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, helped establish easements on 21,889 acres of wetlands.
Outdoor Recreation and Parks
The Mississippi River Trust is focusing on helping residents and communities develop quality outdoor recreation experiences through the expansion and improvement of public lands and waters
- Constructed the 1,735-foot-long Sky Lake Boardwalk and the 13,728-foot-long Sky Lake Paddling Trail.
- Worked to obtain 1,032 acres for St. Catherine’s Creek National Wildlife Refuge; 4,273 acres for Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area; 18,000 acres for Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge; 640 acres for Delta National Forest; and working to obtain 6,600 acres for the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge.
- Worked to develop the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge. It is the site of the most famous hunt to have taken place on American soil and the birthplace of the world’s most famous toy—the teddy bear.
- Conceptualized and worked to develop the Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center near Onward.
- Worked to develop the Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge, the only refuge in the nation named for an African-American.
The Mississippi River Trust works with elected officials and government agencies to promote conservation policies that are innovative, cost-effective, and benefit both public and private lands and waters.
- Worked with the U.S. Congress to continue and increase funding for the Wetland Reserve Easement, which is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- Co-sponsored events celebrating 25 years and 30 years of Wetland Reserve success.
- Worked to conduct an economic study showing that lands enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Easement create economic savings to the taxpayer by reducing costs in commodity, Federal crop insurance, and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance programs.
- Worked to pass America’s Conservation Enhancement Act and the Great American Outdoors Act.
- Worked with the U.S. Congress to develop the RESTORE Act, which sets parameters by which Gulf Coast restoration efforts occur using fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- Helped develop the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative.
- Helped develop a continuous sign-up in the Conservation Reserve Program for bottomland hardwoods, longleaf pine, and native prairie.
- Worked to develop the wildlife component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
- Worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop cost-share practices to control invasive species, including wild hogs, restore longleaf pine, native prairie, and aquatic habitat.
- Worked to develop the Healthy Forests Reserve Program to protect and restore forest ecosystems.
- Coordinated the Southern strategy for the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.
- Conceptualized and worked to establish the Emergency Forest Restoration Program to assist landowners with restoring their forests after natural disasters.
- Worked to develop the Endangered Species Recovery Program to improve populations of rare and declining species while respecting property rights.
- Worked to develop additional and enhanced incentives for conservation easements to protect land.
- Worked to increase federal funding for the management of National Forests.
- Worked with the Congress to reauthorize the Sportfish Restoration Act.
- Worked to pass a surface transportation bill that, among other things, will reduce vehicular collisions with wildlife.
- Working to develop tax incentives, in the form of transferable tax credits, for the prevention and recovery of threatened and endangered species.
- Working on legislation and other policies to control the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.
- Regarding climate change, working on funding and incentives focused on natural climate solutions, such as grasslands, forests, and farms, that could store 30% or more of the needed carbon reductions.
- Working to pass Restoring America’s Wildlife Act to provide a dedicated source of funding for state fish and wildlife agencies.
- Working to develop a Forest Conservation Easement Program in the Farm Bill.
- Working to develop the North American Grasslands Conservation Act.
- Working to maintain funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
- Working to maintain funding for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
- Working to maintain funding for the National Fish Hatchery System.