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State acquires 18,000 acres in south Mississippi Delta

Nearly 18,000 acres (7,000 hectares) in Mississippi’s Delta region have been acquired by the state in the largest piece of land it has bought in 40 years.

The Clarion Ledger reported Saturday the sale of the Steele Bayou Wildlife Management Area in Issaquena and Warren counties was announced last week. It’s expected to open in 2019.

The area offers some of Mississippi’s best deer hunting. Alex Littlejohn, associate state director of The Nature Conservancy, says it also offers wildlife-watching and fishing.

The Conservancy worked with the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to buy the land from Anderson-Tully. Littlejohn says only the purchase of the 37,415-acre (15,141-hectare) Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area four decades ago is larger.

The Conservancy says the purchase will help preserve the Delta’s disappearing hardwood bottomland forests.

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