Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Honors Chattanooga-Area Volunteer As SMART Conservation Steward Of The Year

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
USA-1 SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. (L) and USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance (R) presented Jeff Burgin with the SMART Conservation Steward of the Year Award
USA-1 SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. (L) and USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance (R) presented Jeff Burgin with the SMART Conservation Steward of the Year Award
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance has honored Jeff Burgin of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) with the 2019 SMART Conservation Steward of the Year Award for his efforts to help improve public access to one of the Southeast’s premier fishing and boating destinations. 
 
The award recognizes volunteers from each of the USA’s charter unions who have made exceptional contributions to the USA’s efforts to organize union volunteers to donate their time and unique trade skills to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage.
 
Mr.
Burgin, of Dunlap, serves as SMART Local 5’s Chattanooga-area business representative. He also championed a USA Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) project to enhance access to Tennessee’s Lake Chickamauga—a popular destination for anglers and other watersports enthusiasts from within the state and around the country.
 
Mr. Burgin played a pivotal role in the major overhaul of one of Chickamauga’s busiest access points, the Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp adjacent to Harrison Bay State Park just outside Chattanooga. The renovation expanded year-round access by replacing an existing dilapidated dock with a brand-new, 104-foot-long, handicap-accessible floating pier. Volunteers also restored a fishing pier adjacent to the launch and later hosted a USA Take Kids Fishing Day event at the rejuvenated ramp.
 
The entire project was conducted without state game and fish funds. Materials were purchased with $10,000 raised by United Auto Workers Local 42 and $22,000 in federal marine fuel tax revenues from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. All union labor was donated by volunteers from SMART Local 5, UAW Local 42, IBEW Local 175 and Iron Workers Local 704.
 
“Jeff was crucial to the Wolftever Creek fishing access project,” said USA Conservation Manager Rob Stroede. “He, along with the apprentices that he leads, donated their time on multiple weekends to see the restoration through to the end. Without his assistance and leadership, the project would have been difficult to complete. Now the renovated pier provides better access to the thousands of anglers and boaters who utilize the boat ramp, as well as to the many anglers who fish from the pier.”
 
For his part, Mr. Burgin said the efforts were a labor of love.  “After hearing Stroede speak about the upcoming project and the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground program at a Chattanooga Area Labor Council meeting, I was hooked and told him that we wanted to help,” Mr. Burgin said. “The USA is spot-on with their efforts to provide union labor with an outlet to serve their communities with meaningful conservation projects that positively impact the environment. I’m thankful to serve and look forward to working with the USA again in the future.” 
 
USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance presented Mr. Burgin with his award Aug. 15 at SMART’s Second General Convention in Las Vegas.
 
The Conservation Steward of the Year selection process begins with the nomination of potential recipients by peers or union leadership. From this pool of nominees, USA staff select individuals who have had the greatest impact on the USA’s mission, represented their unions in the most exemplary fashion, and made the biggest difference in their local community. 


New Tennessee Hunting And Fishing Licenses Now On Sale

2020-2021 Migratory Gamebird Hunting Seasons To Be Set At February Commission Meeting

Resolution Calls For Aggressive Action On Asian Carp Invasion In Tennessee Waterways


The new 2020-21 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses are now on sale, with over one million licenses expected to be purchased in the coming year. All current yearly Tennessee hunting and fishing ... (click for more)

The setting of the 2020-21 migratory gamebird hunting seasons will be among the agenda items for the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its February meeting. The two-day meeting is ... (click for more)

A resolution asking TVA, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and other federal authorities to join Tennessee in “aggressively addressing the Asian carp invasion on Tennessee waterways” was unanimously ... (click for more)




Outdoors

New Tennessee Hunting And Fishing Licenses Now On Sale

The new 2020-21 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses are now on sale, with over one million licenses expected to be purchased in the coming year. All current yearly Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses expire Feb. 29. Licenses are available online anytime at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com , on the TWRA “On the Go App,” or at one of more than 700 license agents across the state ... (click for more)

2020-2021 Migratory Gamebird Hunting Seasons To Be Set At February Commission Meeting

The setting of the 2020-21 migratory gamebird hunting seasons will be among the agenda items for the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its February meeting. The two-day meeting is set for Feb. 20-21 (Thursday-Friday) at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building in Nashville. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The regular commission ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Family Of 5 Displaced After Fire Damages Home Late Friday Afternoon

The Red Cross is assisting a family of five after their home was damaged by fire late Friday afternoon. It happened at 5:09 p.m. in the 4000 block of Renezet Drive, not far off of Highway 58. When firefighters arrived on scene, they saw heavy smoke and fire. Flames were coming from a bedroom and spread into the attic space. A quick and aggressive interior attack was ... (click for more)

13 Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipients, Including Charles Coolidge, To Attend Center Opening

Thirteen Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, including Chattanooga's Charles H. Coolidge, are set to attend the grand opening ceremony for the new Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center on Saturday at 10 a.m. at 2 West Aquarium Way. Medal of Honor recipients due to attend also Include Bennie Adkins, Barney Barnum, Patrick Brady, Gary Beikrich, Kyle Carpenter, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Infinite Gratitude To The Entire Memorial Hospital Team

To Memorial Hospital doctors, nurses, staff and executive leadership, I want to offer and to express my sincere and profound gratitude for the extraordinary care and caring that you recently provided to one of my dearest and most beloved relatives. Last week, my loved one, who was suffering from flu symptoms, suddenly became seriously and critically ill with pneumonia in both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Will Make You Cry

My word of the day, compliments of my friends at Dictionary.com, is phronesis (pronounced “froh-NEE-sis). It is a wonderful word that we should include in our daily prayers, asking God to mercifully instill phronesis within each of us in our every hour. It means “the wisdom in determining the ends and the means of attaining them, practical understanding, sound judgement.” Centuries ... (click for more)