Outdoor trust fund accepting grant applications; announces project head
Gov. Tate Reeves recently announced that the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund is accepting grant applications, and Ricky D. Flynt will be leading the effort.
“From our rivers and forests to our farmlands and coastlines, Mississippi is truly blessed with a wealth of natural beauty,” said Reeves. “We have a duty to preserve our land and ensure that our kids have similar opportunities to enjoy it. This Trust Fund and Mr. Flynt will both play key roles in Mississippi’s critical conservation efforts.”
The fund was created to facilitate investment in outdoor recreation and conservation projects across Mississippi. The funding can be used for a variety of worthy causes, including helping to improve recreation and trails, restore public waters and lands, expand conservation education, enhance privately-owned agricultural lands and forests, and protect Mississippi’s wealth of wetlands, forests, grasslands, and other unique habitats.
Flynt was also appointed as project manager supervisor for the effort effective Feb. 1. Flynt has worked for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in a variety of roles since 1993, including area manager for Mahannah and Twin Oaks Wildlife Management Areas, associate wildlife biologist for the Black Prairie and Hell Creek WMAs, and most recently served as alligator program coordinator for 19 years.
He was previously named the Wildlife Conservationist of the Year in 2008 by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, currently serves as the Mississippi representative to the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and has served as the chairman of the Mississippi Beaver and Wild Hog Control Advisory Board since 2016. He has a range of certifications and received his Bachelor of Science in forestry/wildlife management from Mississippi State University.
In April 2022, Reeves signed the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Act into law, which created the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund. Additional legislation appropriated $10 million into the fund. The board of trustees for the fund oversees disbursement of funding.
Outdoor recreation in Mississippi generates over $8 billion in revenue each year and helps to support more than 79,000 jobs.
Applications for the grant program can be made at www.dfa.ms.gov/ms-outdoor-stewardship-grant.