Gov. Tate Reeves outlines his priorities during his State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature on the steps of the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Associated Press

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has promoted the interim executive director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to the post permanently.

Reeves announced on Friday that former state Sen. Lynn Posey, who also had served on the Mississippi Public Service Commission, will continue to lead the agency he’s been in charge of since February. Posey took up the interim post with the retirement of Sam Polles, who led the department for nearly 30 years.

“He’s long been a supporter of outdoors and he’s done an incredible amount to further conservation efforts in the great state of Mississippi,” Reeves said. “I am confident in his leadership and I know he will lead this organization exceptionally well.”

Posey served in the state Senate from 1988 to 2007. During that time, he was chairman of the Committee on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for 16 years. He also helped create the Mississippi Sportsmen’s Caucus, establishing youth hunting seasons and other legislation.

“Outdoor recreation; hunting, fishing and camping, is what Mississippi is all about,” Posey said. “Mississippi’s great outdoors is important to all of us and to the best of my ability I will seek to guide this agency in a way to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and conserve our natural resources for future generations.”

Reeves also named former state Rep. Jim Beckett to lead the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff and Robert Morris III as district attorney for the 17th Circuit Court District, which serves Desoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha Counties.