TWRA Receives Arbor Day Foundation Award

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received the honor of being the recipient of Arbor Day Foundation’s 2014 Forest Lands Leadership Award for its bottomland hardwood forest restoration program in West Tennessee.

The award is given annually to an individual or organization from across the nation whose outstanding work provides leadership in advancing sustainable forestry efforts on public forest land.  The criteria for receiving this prestigious award are demonstrating initiative and leadership in sustainable forest programs, being a model for others to emulate, addressing a high need area, and having sustainable program building and development. 

The TWRA and other 2014 award winners in several categories will be honored by colleagues, supporters, and friends at the Arbor Day Awards Ceremony on April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, Neb.  Scheduled to be present to receive the award for TWRA are Brant Miller (Wildlife Forestry Program Manager), Damon Hollis (West Tennessee Wetlands Forester), and Jason Maxedon (Area Manager over Ernest Rice, Sr., Moss Island, and several other WMAs and refuges).

Approximately three million trees have been planted on a total of 6,800 acres of former row crop land since 2000, the year that Jason Maxedon was hired to develop and oversee TWRA’s bottomland hardwood restoration program. Damon Hollis took over in 2011, when Maxedon transferred to the area manager position. In addition to Hollis, the team includes the program’s longtime Wildlife Technician Sam Turner, Wildlife Forester Justin Hallett, and Wildlife Technician Josh Emerson. 

Working with TWRA Region I personnel, the East Tennessee State Nursery and the University of Tennessee Tree Improvement Program, TWRA’s West Tennessee foresters annually restore 500-1,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods on TWRA-owned lands, with a greater than 80 percent seedling survival rate.  In addition to several oak species, many other supplemental tree and shrub species are planted, as well, to promote a more natural forest composition.  This has been accomplished with the help of generous grants from the Arbor Day Foundation, which have been approved for TWRA afforestation projects every year since 2010. These new forests will provide optimum habitat and mast, in an area where it is critically needed, ensuring sustainable management of various wildlife species for the benefit of Tennessee citizens and visitors.

TWRA’s goal is to connect the fragmented forests of West Tennessee into an uninterrupted travel corridor through which wildlife can fly, walk, and crawl freely. At a time when wildlife habitat is being lost to increasing urbanization, the TWRA is making strides in achieving this goal through its bottomland hardwood restoration program.


Youth Hunter Injured In Hunting Accident In Grainger County

A 10-year-old boy from Knoxville was injured Monday evening after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while dove hunting at Buffalo Springs WMA in Grainger County. TWRA officers report that around 5:45 p.m., the young man accidentally fired his shotgun into his foot and was then air lifted to UT Medical Center in Knoxville with non-life-threatening injuries. Records ... (click for more)

Tennessee's 2014 Dove Season Opens Labor Day; Early Canada Goose Season Also Starts

Dove season opens on Labor Day, at noon (local time), which marks the annual start of one of Tennessee’s most long-standing outdoor sports traditions. Tennessee’s 2014 season is again be divided into three segments: Sept. 1 through Sept. 28; Oct. 11 through Nov. 2; and Nov. 29 through Jan. 6, 2015. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one-half hour before sunrise until ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)