After a successful career that has lasted over three decades, Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area manager, Gary Black is retiring. Mr. Black spent his first seven years with TWRA as the Putnam County wildlife officer before taking the management position at Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Cordell Hull WMA is over 600 acres of wetland and some upland along the Cumberland River. Mr. Black has been the sole employee tending to this land for over 30 years.
Kirk Miles, Region 3 wildlife program manager said, “Gary will be missed. His partnerships with other agencies and local farmers, along with his willingness to learn and adapt to new management techniques such as utilizing prescribed fire, provided great habitat on the WMA.” Mr. Black partnered with organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Quail Unlimited and Moment of Freedom Campaign to name a few.
Mr. Black successfully managed the addition of a waterfowl refuge and changes in soil and land management to promote waterfowl on the area. Furthermore, his work with the Moment of Freedom Campaign saw the addition of nine wheelchair accessible hunting blinds. Mr. Black oversaw many wheelchair bound hunts through the years.
When asked what he will miss most about the job, Mr. Black said, “People more than anything else. Working for the agency and managing the WMA never felt like a job.” Mr. Black does have plans for retirement. He said, “I’ll finally get to fish!”
TWRA officials wish Gary the best in his retirement and happy fishing.