Skip to content
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians...

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians joins Tribal Land Conservation Initiative

By: Anne Summerhays - December 8, 2021

“This is an exceptional program to benefit our members and the environment,” said Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians announced that it is joining the Tribal Land Conservation Initiative. The Tribe will work with the non-profit National Indian Carbon Coalition (NICC) to protect approximately 25,000 acres of land in Mississippi while generating substantial income for its members through the creation of carbon credits.

Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben

“This is an exceptional program to benefit our members and the environment,” said Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben. “Land stewardship has always been important to our Tribe, and this emerging market gives us an invaluable opportunity to continue to protect and preserve our forested tribal lands.”

The Tribal Land Conservation Initiative is a national program that empowers Native American tribes to implement sustainable management practices to preserve their land, protect the environment, and create economic opportunities for their people.

Many tribal nations can benefit from participating in the carbonated o ther environmental commodities markets due to the large amounts of land they control for farming, ranching or forestry. Benefits include:

  • Additional revenue-generation opportunities from land
  • Preservation of tribal land ownership
  • Promotion of land stewardship
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • Promotion of soil health, ecological diversity, and water and air quality

Formed by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) and the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), the NICC helps helps tribes implement sustainable management practices and develop carbon projects. They also help tribes partner with socially responsible organizations to achieve financial benefits.

NICC’s mission is “to preserve tribal land ownership and reduce the effects of climate change by conserving the natural resources of tribal lands in order to minimize human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We have been working closely with the Mississippi Choctaws to help them achieve their objectives. Carbon projects offer a unique opportunity for tribes to protect their land, preserve it for future generations, and earn long-term income,” NICC program director Bryan Van Stippen said.

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: