Area wildlife reserves getting $717,000 stimulus

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 2, 2009

Waterfowl habitats will be enhanced at National Wildlife Refuges near Warren County and energy-efficient offices will also be built, thanks to $717,000 in stimulus funds being allocated to the Panther Swamp NWR and Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex.

A total of $56.5 million is being allocated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to its Southeast Region through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, of which $2.5 million will find its way to Mississippi.

Donny Browning, project leader for the Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex, said $500,000 of the money will be used to rehab levees, improve water control structures and add wells — which will all greatly benefit migratory birds that pass through refuge land on the Mississippi Flyway. 

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“The benefits to wildlife from these projects are going to be great,” he said. “The work will all be contracted out and done by people who are not on the fish and wildlife payroll right now, so hopefully it will create some jobs, too.”

Two new refuge office buildings will be built with $200,000 in Yazoo County for the Panther Swamp NWR and Yazoo NWR — two of seven regional refuges that make up the Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex. It the largest refuge complex in Mississippi and includes more than 100,000 acres of land providing vital habitat for fish and wildlife in the Delta region.

“We are striving to use some solar energy in the office buildings and install some features to conserve water as well,” Browning said. “The projects are ready to be put out to bid, and they tell me there’s a great possibility we’ll be in the new offices next year.”

The Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex will receive a total of $700,000 in stimulus funds, which it will use for projects at five of its refuges. Panther Swamp NWR was separately awarded $17,000 to replace culverts under ATV trails in the refuge. Morgan Brake NWR, located in Holmes County and also a part of the Roosevelt complex, was also awarded $35,000.

A total of 183 projects are being funded with stimulus funds in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, which includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Contact Steve Sanoski at