2021 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Seymour, Moran
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN ADOPTING ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS BY THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE THAT RESTRICT, REDUCE OR ELIMINATE RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES OR THAT OTHERWISE CONTRADICT THE RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED BY THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE, ESPECIALLY HUNTING AND FISHING BY ANY AND ALL TRADITIONAL MEANS, ON NATIONAL FOREST LANDS LOCATED IN MISSISSIPPI THAT ARE CONSIDERED OPEN PUBLIC LAND.
WHEREAS, President Theodore Roosevelt said in regards to National Forests, Parks and Antiquities, "The rights of the public to the natural resources outweigh private rights, and must be given first consideration"; and
WHEREAS, there are six National Forests in the State of Mississippi owned by the people, with the oldest being established in 1936, that offer 1.2 million acres of public land for recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, National Forest Lands in Mississippi have historically been observed as open public land and not designated for the benefit of private individuals; and
WHEREAS, state-designated hunting and fishing seasons and regulations have historically been established on these National Forest Lands; and
WHEREAS, at the November 4, 2014, election, Mississippi voters approved House Concurrent Resolution No. 30 which added Section 12A to the Mississippi Constitution: "The people have the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject only to laws and regulations that promote wildlife conservation and management and that preserve the future of hunting and fishing, as the Legislature may prescribe by general law. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife"; and
WHEREAS, reduction in recreational opportunities on National Forest Lands in Mississippi by the federal government would severely reduce activities enjoyed by the public that are part of local traditions and heritage, and curtail alternate activities for young and old adults alike which encourage them to be productive members of society and pass these traditions to future generations:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recommend that the federal government carefully consider the rights and privileges of the general public in adopting any administrative actions by the United States Forest Service that restrict, reduce or eliminate recreational opportunities or that otherwise contradict the recreational opportunities provided by the Mississippi Legislature, especially hunting and fishing by any and all traditional means, on National Forest Lands located in Mississippi that are considered open public land.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be transmitted to the members of Mississippi's Congressional Delegation and State Forest Supervisor Carl Petrick of the United States Forest Service, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.