NEW COMMISSIONERS INTRODUCED, UPDATE PRESENTED ON ASIAN CARP
Brad Miller, TWRA Region IV Elk Program Coordinator, presented an update on elk management issues which included the pros and cons of supplemental feeding. He also discussed research efforts which included the collaring of elk.
Cliff Walker, founder and owner of Outdoor Recreation Corporation of America (ORCA) was recognized for his contributions to the TWRA. ORCA has donated hundreds of coolers to the agency’s outreach programs and wounded soldier events.
In addition, ORCA recently donated more than $200,000 worth of coolers for use by all agency wildlife officers, boating officers, wildlife managers, technicians, environmental services, and fisheries field staff with engineering staff set to receive coolers in the near future. A lifetime sportsman license was purchased and presented to Walker for his contributions.
John McFadden, Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Environmental Council, made a presentation on the council’s goals to plant or care for native trees in the state. He was accompanied by representatives from Hero Hunt, Inc., one of the council’s partners who spoke of the benefits of the council’s efforts to provide hunting opportunities. Two former soldiers, who are recipients of Purple Hearts, spoke on how much the organization had meant to them.
The recipient of the inaugural Robert M. Hatcher Ornithological Scholarship was introduced to the commission. Megan Hart, a graduate student at Austin Peay State University, was presented the honor in August. The $1,000 scholarship is named in honor of Bob Hatcher, who served the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for 38 years including serving as the Non-Game and Endangered Species Coordinator from 1987 until 2001.
The TFWC also approved a budget expansion for a computer assisted dispatch and reporting system and a “Weekend for Wildlife.” Two other budget expansions were matched funds for the Varney tract acquisition and for fire equipment and supplies.
The TFWC next meeting will also be held on one day. It will take place at the Bass Pro Shops location in Memphis on Friday, Jan. 13.