Column: We should all be good stewards

Published 7:50 pm Friday, March 5, 2021

Driving down the winding roads of Issaquena County last year, I was shocked at the amount of water I saw in fields and in homes.

This flooding was a result of not having a sustainable answer to the backwater flooding from the Yazoo River displacing both people and wildlife.

It was the first thing that came to my mind when I spoke with Ducks Unlimited southern region director Jerry Holden on Thursday.

Ducks Unlimited and Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative had just signed memorandum for common purpose to restore habitat and lower the severity of flooding.

It is exciting because 75 mayors of different cities and towns in the Mississippi River Valley are making an effort to take care of the environment and taking care of people. It is exciting because this is a large-scale effort to not only put people first, but to also take care of wildlife.

Mismanaging wildlife and wildlife habitats has an impact on the healthy populations of deer, ducks, fish and people as well. Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson noted that the deforestation of hardwoods such as oaks depleted a valuable food source for wildlife. Restoring hardwoods in place of pine plantations is important because a healthy forest produces healthy wildlife.

Taking care of the environment shouldn’t be just the job of a conservation groups or governments. It should also be the responsibility of the people who call the Mississippi River Valley home.

As a fisherman and as a hunter I know how crucial it is to provide a healthy habitat for fish and wildlife. Littering in the beautiful landscape of the Miss-Lou and the misuse of our natural resources greatly harms those habitats.

I hope that with this partnership there will be a movement in the people to take care of the environment, to not litter, and to not harvest too many fish or game.

The Miss-Lou community will have an opportunity to work with conservation groups and the local government to create a better place for our future generations and for wildlife. We just have to get on the train and make the movement a reality.

Lets be good stewards of the enviornment, and support MRCTI and Ducks Unlimited in their new adventure.