Ed Carter, executive director for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, has announced that he will retire effective May 31. He made the announcement during the February meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Friday.
Director Carter assumed his current role in 2009.
He began his career in 1972 and has held positions in the divisions of Law Enforcement, Information and Education, and as TWRA Region II assistant manager. He became TWRA’s first Chief of the Boating Division when the division was formed in 1990.
“Leaving the TWRA as an employee feels like running away from home,” Director Carter said. “The Agency and the people in it have been such a huge part of my life and I realize I am very blessed to have been able to call it my home for many years.
“There’s no way to properly thank all the Agency personnel, the Commission present and past, and the many partners that have supported my career and the goals we share. So, I’ll just say thank you for now. I can’t wait to see all the future success the Agency will bring forward.”
Director Carter’s career has been marked by outstanding accomplishments and he has received numerous awards. Two of his most recent honors were being named the Bass Pro Shops Conservation Partner of the Year and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) top honor. He was received the Seth Gordon Award for lifetime achievement in conserving North America’s natural resources in the public trust and contributing to the programs of the Association.
The Commission will begin the process of hiring a new executive director. TWRA has had only two executive directors since 1978. Gary Myers served from that year until his retirement and was succeeded by Director Carter.
Also, at this month’s meeting, the TFWC approved the 2020-21 waterfowl and migratory game bird hunting seasons. Next year’s regulations will include changing crow hunting season to add more dates in January and February. The TWRA made the proposal to the commission after public input to allow more hunting days in January and February. The TFWC also approved the agency’s proposal to offer two days of waterfowl hunting to veteran and military personnel, similar to what is currently offered for youth waterfowl hunt days. Federal frameworks for next year required a bag limit reduction for scaup.
Chuck Yoest, CWD (chronic wasting disease) coordinator, presented details on an upcoming TWRA website feature known as the Sick Deer Reporting System. The system is designed to improve deer disease surveillance and customer service. The new tool will provide an easy way for the public to report sick deer and for staff to track and evaluate them.
Ducks Unlimited Canada representative Dave Kostersky made his annual presentation to the commission. TWRA and DU Canada has had a 30-year partnership for conservation. During the past year, there were more than 1,600 acres of habitat retention, more than 1,100 acres of upland restoration and almost 109,000 acres of habitat asset management.
The Commission approved a change to the Boating and Law Enforcement Division’s Manner and Means proclamation. The change included that prior to moving any harvested big game species (deer, turkey, bear, or elk), a hunter must tag the animal using the TWRA mobile application, the TWRA website, or a physical tag provided by the TWRA.
Tepparit Wiphatphumiprates, also known as “Teddy Wi” was introduced to the commission as the 2019 Information Technology (IT) Division Professional of the Year. He serves as a software developer-lead.
The commission elected its officers for 2020-21 Kurt Holbert (Decaturville) will continue to serve as chairman. Jim Ripley (Kodak) is the new vice chairman, and Angie Box (Jackson) will continue as secretary.