Tenn. House Threatens To Eliminate Wildlife Agency

Government Ops Committee to Decide Wed. - TWF sends "Legislative Alert" to members

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - by Richard Simms
<i>Rep. Jim Cobb from Rhea County is the Chairman of the Government Operations Committee. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, members of that Committee are threatening to effectively eliminate the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.</i>
Rep. Jim Cobb from Rhea County is the Chairman of the Government Operations Committee. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, members of that Committee are threatening to effectively eliminate the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF), a private conservation organization, has e-mailed a "Legislative Alert" out to its membership. TWF is concerned that legislative maneuvering could eliminate the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency... and they say it could happen Wednesday.

Last year Chattanoogan.com Outdoors provided extensive coverage of the Legislative battle over what's known as the "Sunset Provision." Sunset bills provide the Legislature with the opportunity to review the need for every state department every four years. Renewal is normally a routine, "rubber-stamp" measure. But last year several legislators clearly upset with TWRA tried hard to eliminate the wildlife agency. In the end opponents and supporters of the action came up with a compromise extending TWRA's life by one year. Now the battle begins anew as Legislators prepare to vote on House Bill 0258.

The TWF Alert said, "This effort appears to be a purely political move designed to harm the Agency.... (Wednesday) at 11:30 a.m. (CDT), this same small group of House members will attempt to have the House government operations committee again play games with TWRA's "sunset" bill, despite the fact that the Senate has already passed a five-year extension for TWRA, a two-year Agency study committee has met and issued no findings, and the Agency's audit and budget have both been reviewed and approved by the appropriate oversight committees."

Rep. Jim Cobb from Rhea County is the Chairman of that Committee.

The Alert told members, "We need your help to stop an effort to shut down the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) that is taking place in the Tennessee state House. Please contact the House government operations committee and ask them to pass the TWRA sunset bill to match the Senate's version."

Committee Officers
• Jim Cobb, Chair – 615-741-1450 – rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov
• Barrett Rich, Vice-Chair – 615-741-6890 – rep.barrett.rich@capitol.tn.gov
• Tony Shipley, Secretary – 615-741-2886 – rep.tony.shipley@capitol.tn.gov
• Barbara Cooper – 615-741-4295 – rep.barbara.cooper@capitol.tn.gov
• Craig Fitzhugh – 615-741-2134 – rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov
• Steve Hall – 615-741-2287 – rep.steve.hall@capitol.tn.gov
• Julia Hurley – 615-741-7658 – rep.julia.harvey@capitol.tn.gov
• Mike Kernell – 615-741-3726 – rep.mike.kernell@capitol.tn.gov
• Debra Maggart – 615-741-3893 – rep.debra.maggart@capitol.tn.gov
• Judd Matheny – 615-741-7448 – rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov
• Gerald McCormick – 615-741-2548 – rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov
• Mike Turner – 615-741-3229 – rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov

Sportsmen can watch Wednesday's proceedings Live on the Tennessee Legislative Web Page. Just CLICK HERE and then click the "Video Camera" icon beside the "Government Operations Committee" on the Wed. 5/11 Tab.

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