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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Monday, May 14, 2012

Using the Axe, Match, and Plow at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area
MDWFP wildlife biologists are using the modern versions of an axe, match, and plow to create and maintain quality wildlife habitat at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (CRNWMA).  These tools, which were identified so long ago by famous conservationist Aldo Leopold, and used by farmers throughout Mississippi's history, have been replaced by modern forest management methods, drip torch, and tractor.  Located west of Sardis in Panola County, nearly all of its 4,000 acres are intensively managed for a host of game and non-game species of wildlife.  Since the WMA was acquired by MDWFP, its upland forests have been thinned, controlled seasonal fire has been reintroduced across the WMA, and native grasses are now reestablished in former agricultural fields.    
These tools stimulate the growth of desired native grasses and forbs and maintain a mix of habitats across the landscape.  As a result, an abundance of natural food and cover exists for a variety of wildlife including grassland songbirds such as the meadowlark and dicksissel and rabbits, bobwhite quail, and white-tailed deer.  CRNWMA's habitat transformation is truly a testament to these time-honored management tools and the hard work of many dedicated wildlife conservationists.      

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