Monday, March 9, 2015

Proposed Pearl River NWR Off the Table?

Two years ago, we talked about the possibility of the Federal Government forming a National Wildlife Refuge between Spillway Road and Lakeland Drive along the Pearl River.  See prior posts, here, here, here, and here.  Things looked good for this development.  The Government even went so far as to establish a website promoting the Refuge.  Then Uncle Sam got quiet.

Brian Broom of the Clarion Ledger notes this in a recent article.  Sadly, it appears the NWR is off the table.  "Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considered developing an urban NWR on the site, but backed away from the proposal without public explanation."  Now, it appears, a non-profit, Wildlife Mississippi, is negotiating with the land owner, Mississippi Department of Transportation, to manage the 2,700 acres for wildlife purposes.

A few months later, an agreement was reached between MDOT and Wildlife Mississippi that the nonprofit would oversee the land and its uses.
"We see it as an outdoor classroom," James Cummins, Wildlife Mississippi Executive Director, said. "We want to show what outdoors in Mississippi is all about."
Cummins said the location is ideal to connect children with nature and teach them about water, trees and the critters that inhabit the wild. To accommodate educational groups and others, facilities are in the planning stages.

See the full article here.

Wildlife Mississippi's plans include improving the infrastructure for kayaking, building  an amphitheater, and opening the land up for limited hunting opportunities.