JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Guests enjoyed the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza this year but noticed there were less people in the room than usual.
“There’s a marked decrease in attendance, both in attenders and attendees,” said Nick Barnes, one of the few people to attend the extravaganza.
He and Mississippi Wildlife Federation President Jeanne Jones believe guests stayed away to boycott the organization.
Controversy over backwater pumps being installed in the Delta, where there is historic flooding, lead the decrease in guests and vendors.
“Well it’s a bit lower because of some of the controversy that was ongoing. We’re really disappointed from a standpoint of some of the kid’s activities because our mission is to connect kids with outdoor recreation and wild nature,” said Jones.
Though he supports the movement to finish the pumps, Barnes still went to the event with his family.
“Regardless of the what the subject is, people are always going to be sensitive to controversy. And if they feel that they’re right...they’re going to back that movement. In this case, I completely understand and I agree with that, but I still want to support what vendors are here,” said Barnes.