The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is reminding the public that Jan. 21, 2014 is the deadline to submit comments on its new proposed Strategic Plan. The plan serves as a guiding document for the agency’s mission and objectives.
To provide comments on the new plan, send an e-mail to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov with “Strategic Plan” in the subject line. To send by mail, Strategic Plan Comments, Att: Cindy Pharris, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. (For a full version of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2014 Strategic Plan, visit www.tnwildlife.org.)
The new plan, to be unveiled in 2014, is unlike any previous strategic plan implemented by the agency. In decades past, due to the depletion of our wildlife resources throughout the early parts of the 20th century, the agency focused mainly on species restoration and protection. The agency followed the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation that identifies wildlife as a public trust belonging to all the people. The agency has successfully restored many species that were once considered rare or non-existent in the state.
White-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bears and waterfowl are some of the most notable species that have rebounded considerably over the last few decades. The agency has also created and maintained numerous fisheries throughout the state’s waterways.
With the onset of healthier fish and wildlife populations, the agency is shifting gears to focus more directly on maintaining the habitats that support those populations. The agency also recognizes the need for our citizens to have access to those areas to enjoy our abundant wildlife resources. As such, the new plan identifies four core areas in which the agency strives to provide these services while still protecting our natural resources.
As a strategic plan, it is broad in nature providing long-term guidance. After public input and the completion of the final plan, much more detailed operational plans will provide the on-the-ground direction associated with the four functions of the plan.
The four primary functions of TWRA and their associated goals outlined in the plan are:
1.) Wildlife Resource Management - to conserve and manage wildlife resources to provide diverse wildlife communities at appropriate levels.
2.) Outdoor Recreation - to increase opportunities for hunting, fishing and boating and accommodate other outdoor recreation, such as wildlife viewing, that is safe for users and the environment yet consistent with conservation principles.
3.) Law Enforcement - to protect and conserve Tennessee’s fish, wildlife, habitats and public boating opportunities by providing public safety through proactive and responsive law enforcement services.