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.


Tennessee Promise Saturday Set For July 18

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau, in partnership with Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, announced  Tennessee Promise  Saturday , a student volunteer day to be held in all Tennessee State Parks on  Saturday, July 18 .   The Tennessee Promise, part of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Huck Finn Family Paddling Adventure  July 10   Join Outdoor Chattanooga on a  Huck Finn Family Paddling Adventure  on  Fri., July 10  from  5 to 8:30 p.m.  We'll paddle canoe pontoons ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Rejects 10-Cent Tax Rise For Lake Forest MS; Firefighters Get $3,000 Raise

With a small crowd of demonstrators sitting in the back of the room with signs that read, “Vote no on property tax increase,” the Bradley County Commission on Monday night finally rejected a proposed 10-cent property tax increase that would have added funds to the construction of a new academic building at Lake Forest Middle School.   Funding for renovations at ... (click for more)

11 Attorneys Apply In 2nd Round For Replacing Judge Stern

Eleven attorneys have applied in the second round of applications to replace Rebecca Stern as judge of Criminal Court's Division II. The applicants are: Christian J. Coder Chattanooga Tracy Cox Signal Mountain Amanda B. Dunn Chattanooga Ardena Juanita Garth Chattanooga Thomas Clifton Greenholtz Ooltewah Andrea DeFay Hayduk ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hay Fields Of July

Oh my goodness, July has just arrived and during my formative years, it was the most hated month of the year. When I was 12 years old, my wonderful grandfather decreed the days of begging for money to go to the picture show and burgers at the Krystal were over, that I was on the payroll for a dollar an hour and, in our family, folks worked for what they spent. Now my grandfather, ... (click for more)