Senate Unanimously Passes Alexander Immediate 2-Year Ban On Corps Fishing Restrictions

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) announced that the U.S. Senate on Thursday passed his legislation that would immediately ban the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing fishing restrictions for two years, the second time in as many days senators have supported “the freedom to fish below publicly owned dams on the Cumberland River.”

Thursday’s action had the unanimous support of the Senate, and it would stop the Corps from enacting any existing or new fishing restrictions for the next two years, while also delegating enforcement to state wildlife agencies. This legislation is separate from legislation the Senate passed Wednesday as part of the Water Resources Development Act, which would enact a permanent solution – as opposed to just two years – and also delegate enforcement to state agencies.

The legislation passed Thursday by unanimous consent is likely to come up sooner in the U.S. House of Representatives than the House’s version of the Water Resources Development Act. Once passed, today’s legislation would enact a two-year ban while supporters await passage of the permanent solution in the House.

“The U.S. Senate continues to support the idea that we don’t need Big Brother in Washington holding the hands of fishermen in Tennessee and Kentucky or anywhere else,” Senator Alexander said. “We’re getting closer to stopping these unreasonable fishing restrictions, showing the Corps that it can’t waste taxpayer dollars or continue to ignore elected representatives who are standing up for fishermen.”

The Corps is proceeding with its policy to permanently restrict access to tailwaters areas below 10 dams on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky. The Corps did so despite the Senate’s unanimous support for an amendment to the budget resolution in March that would allow Congress to prohibit the Corps’ plans, as well as repeated requests for compromise from Senator Alexander, numerous other elected officials and the state agencies that enforce boater safety requirements.

Senator Alexander’s legislation originated from his “Freedom to Fish Act,” which is cosponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) has sponsored companion legislation in the House.

Senator Alexander said on May 8 he would restrict Corps funding, in his role as the ranking member or lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, if the Corps did not abandon its plans. Senator Alexander has also held numerous meetings with Corps officials in Washington and Tennessee, encouraging them to find a compromise.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Jerry Martin, an appointee of President Obama who until stepping down recently would have been responsible for defending the Corps in court, has said the Corps’ restrictions are unreasonable “in light of the tremendous protection from liability enjoyed by the Corps.” The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has also said it will not enforce the Corps’ restrictions.


Billy LaGrange Named Southeastern Association Of Fish And Wildlife Agencies Tennessee Wildlife Officer Of The Year

Billy LaGrange has been named the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officer of the Year for the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA). The award recipient was announced by Col. Darren Rider, TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division Chief.           Mr. LaGrange is a wildlife officer ... (click for more)

Young Sportsman Deer Hunt Is Oct. 25-26

The first of two Tennessee young sportsman deer hunts for the 2014-15 season will be held the weekend of Oct. 25-26. Youth ages six-16 years of age may participate, Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 or older who must remain in position to take immediate control of the hunting device. The adult must also comply with the fluorescent orange regulations ... (click for more)

Woman Says Chattin Killed Deputy Donald Bond, Not Kiser

A woman testified Monday in Hamilton County Criminal Court that it was Mike Chattin - and not his roommate Marlon Duane Kiser - who killed County Deputy Donald Bond at a produce stand in East Brainerd in 2001. Kimberly Annette Bowman called Kiser, who is in the middle of an extended post-conviction hearing, "an innocent man." She said, "I've had this burden on me all these years." ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Republicans And Fox News Are Creating An Ebola Crisis

It seems that the Republicans and Fox News are at it again.  They are calling for “closing the borders” in order to protect us from the Ebola virus.   They are spreading fear and angst among the populous in order to blame the Obama administration with failing to protect the citizenry. Isn’t this the same crowd that claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)