LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday joined the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Nature Conservancy in presenting a check for $250,000 to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to fund a program to improve unpaved county roads and protect bodies of water.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday joined the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Nature Conservancy in presenting a check for $250,000 to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to fund a program to improve unpaved county roads and protect bodies of water.


AEDC said in a news release its Rural Services Division will administer the program, which will focus on best management practices that reduce the impact of sediment and road runoff on streams, rivers and drinking water supplies while reducing long-term road maintenance costs.


The money includes $100,000 from the national nonprofit group The Nature Conservancy and $150,000 from the Game and Fish Commission.


"This program meshes well with the agency’s mission to conserve Arkansas’ fish and wildlife and their habitats," said Ricky Chastain, the commission’s deputy director. "This program represents a practical, cost-effective solution to target specific stretches of unpaved roads that are having negative impacts on water quality and our most sensitive aquatic species. High-quality waters produce high-quality fishing and other water-related recreational opportunities for current and future citizens of Arkansas to enjoy."


Counties and unincorporated areas with public, unpaved roads can apply for funds. To be eligible, projects must focus on both unpaved road improvements and sediment reduction. Only projects that provide some form of environmental benefit will be considered.


For an application or more information on the program, visit www.ruralservices.arkansas.gov or call 1-888-RURALAR.