WATER VALLEY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers honored the late Wayland Dean Hill, Sr. at a dedication ceremony held May 15 at the First Christian Church.
During the ceremony Corps officials unveiled a sign that will be placed at Wildcat Brake on the south side of Enid Lake declaring 2,276 acres as the Dean Hill Wildlife Management Area.
Hill led the initial conservation effort at Wildcat Brake, according to Billy Samuels, resource manager at Enid Lake.
In 1988, Hill organized the O’Tuckolofa Sportsmen’s Club, a 133-member volunteer group that spent countless hours performing conservation management in the Wildcat Brake area.
“He continued to oversee and perform conservation management practices in the area until his death in November 2006,” Samuels said.
In 1990, Hill was recognized as Conservationist of the Year and in 1991 was a finalist in the Take Pride in America Program. He was also a state and national winner in 1992 for his conservation efforts of Enid’s Wildcat Brake Management Area.
“Mr. Hill’s devotion to conservation has not only made significant impacts to the natural resources at Enid Lake, but has impacted the citizens of the surrounding area and conservationists throughout Mississippi,” said Samuels.
The Yocona River on the north and the O’Tucklofa Creek on the south border the Dean Hill Wildlife Management Area at Wildcat Brake. It is located on Yalobusha County Road 494 just off Yalobusha County Road 107. The area has historically been one of the favorite places for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts.
“It has excellent hunting and fishing and provides great opportunities for wildlife observation and the study of nature,” Samuels said. “The Wildcat Brake area is a unique ecosystem of natural springs and has a wide variety of flora and fauna.”