Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
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Mississippi's history, have been replaced by modern forest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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