A strong advocate for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been honored with a prestigious national award. The Federation has been named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of its outstanding achievement in promoting conservation of wildlife and natural resources on the state and national level.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation is an independent nonprofit that champions Tennessee’s land, waters, and great outdoors.
“What an honor for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation to be named the best in the nation,” said Ed Carter, TWRA executive director. “It’s confirmation of a belief that we have had in the Agency for many years. It was members of the Federation whose early leaders had the vision to bring forward the ‘model Game and Fish Act’ which created the Game and Fish Commission in 1949, later becoming the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.”
Throughout the years, the TWRA and the Federation have collaborated on various wildlife issues that have proved beneficial to all Tennesseans, according to Carter.
“The Federation has been a staunch partner with the Agency on any number of outreach, political, and biological issues since our founding days,” said Carter. “With its own individual programs and initiatives, the Federation has worked tirelessly to introduce Tennesseans to the outdoors and to highlight the recreational, economic, and quality of life values associated with wildlife and boating. I couldn’t be more pleased that they have gained such deserved recognition.”
Founded in 1946 as the Tennessee Conservation League, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is the oldest and largest nonprofit conservation organization in the state. The Federation’s mission is to lead the conservation, sound management, and wise use of Tennessee’s wildlife and great outdoors.
“Tennessee Wildlife Federation is honored to receive the Affiliate of the Year award,” said Michael Butler, chief executive officer of the Federation. “The Federation has been instrumental to bringing wildlife and conservation issues to the forefront of Tennessee consciousness and collaborating with other organizations and agencies, including TWRA to conserve our natural resources for future generations.”
Since its founding, the Federation has built a reputation for its expertise in the field and is regularly engaged by agencies and organizations across the state on diverse conservation issues.
Additionally, the Federation works to affect legislation at the local, state, and national levels. In 2017 alone, Tennessee Wildlife Federation spearheaded or influenced 12 state bills and amendments, ranging from chronic wasting disease safeguards to funding for better management of water resources.
Outside of policy, the Federation works hard to engage youth in dynamic and full immersion programming to recruit new generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Stewardship programs are also among the Federation’s initiatives. With a full-time wildlife biologist on staff, the Federation has led the conservation or restoration of more than 13,000 acres of habitat and watersheds in Tennessee. The Hunters for the Hungry program has helped feed hungry families in Tennessee with more than six million meals distributed.
The Federation will be presented with the award in June at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.