Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Awards $14.5 Million in Grants for Conservation and Recreation Projects

Published 12:16 pm Monday, March 4, 2024

Gov. Tate Reeves announced that the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund (MOSTF) Board of Trustees has selected over $14.5 million for 33 conservation and outdoor recreation projects. This funding, matched with nearly $30 million from other sources, aims to enhance the state’s parks, trails, public waters, lands, and wildlife resources.

Governor Reeves expressed enthusiasm for the impact of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, stating, “We’ll continue to do everything we can to preserve our state’s natural beauty for the next generation of Mississippians.”

The MOSTF, created and funded by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Reeves in 2022, received its first round of $10 million in funding last year. The recent $15 million allocation, part of the Legislature’s 2023 appropriation, marks the second round of funding. The Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, oversees project selection and funding distribution.

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Ed Penny, President of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Coalition, praised the Legislature’s continued support and the Board’s allocation of funding, stating, “The program is beginning to build momentum now!”

MOSTF Chair Van Ray of Yazoo City highlighted the Board’s commitment to promoting nature-based outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation throughout the state, noting the impressive diversity of project proposals received.

Ricky Flynt, MOSTF Executive Director, noted the high demand for funding, with 70 project applications from across the state. He emphasized the program’s ability to meet the goals of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Act through its support for various projects benefiting communities statewide.

Bill Kinkade, Chairman of the House Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Committee, and Neil S. Whaley, Chairman of the Senate Wildlife, Fisheries, and Park Committee, praised the program’s success in supporting Mississippi’s outdoor recreation and conservation efforts.

The MOSTF’s investments aim to strengthen communities and enhance the state’s $8 billion outdoor recreation economy, supporting over 79,000 jobs.