The Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) was founded Feb. 12, 1946, as the Tennessee Conservation League during a meeting at Chattanooga's historic Read House Hotel. Fifty-three outdoor writers and conservationists from around the state gathered to build a new organization dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and habitat.
Our mission is to champion the conservation, sound management, and enjoyment of Tennessee's wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy, and education. Click here to read a personal message from the chairman of TWF's Board of Directors, Dr. John Gayden.
We invite you to friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, signup for our e-newsletter, and watch us on Youtube. Look for TWF soon on Pinterest and Instagram. A brand-new website is in the works, too! Thanks for stopping by and in your interest in Tennessee's great outdoors.
Plans are underway to remove some of the best fishing waters in Tennessee from public access. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently confirmed plans to ban boat access below several dams, including Old Hickory, Cheatham, J. Percy Priest, Cordell Hull, Center Hill, and Dale Hollow.
District Commander Lt. Col. Jim DeLapp is claiming safety as the chief concern, but the numbers don't support it. Of all the deaths that have occurred on Tennessee's rivers and reservoirs over the last 50 years, less than three percent were below the dams. And almost all of those were the result of failure to wear or properly inflate a life jacket as required by law.
TWF Program Provides More Than 12,000 Meaningful Outdoor Experiences to Kids in Memphis and Nashville
The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is taking kids from the inner city and into the natural world through its Great Outdoors University (GOU) program in Memphis and Nashville. Over the course of six years, the program has reached a milestone by providing more than 12,000 outdoor experiences that have touched young lives in powerful ways.
“Students who are familiar with the sounds of gunshots and sirens have had positive experiences with the awesome wonder of the outdoors,” said Chan Sheppard, executive director of Preston Taylor Ministries in Nashville. “Some have said, ‘I didn’t know it could be this quiet’ and ‘Why can’t we see all of these stars from Nashville?’ It’s also been good for our staff to expose students to opportunities that we cannot provide on our own.”
Founded in 2006 by Memphis businessman and Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) Board Member Peter Schutt, GOU is a collaborative approach and works with more than a dozen community partners—from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to city community centers and faith-based organizations—to provide life-changing outdoor programming through day, weekend and overnight trips.
Carlos Hawkins, a regional manager for residential services for Youth Villages, says that the opportunities provided to kids outside of the typical group home setting are “truly everlasting.”
More than 75 Teams Participate; Winners Named in Skeet, Sporting Clays and Trap
More than 1,500 athletes from across Tennessee spent last week competing in skeet, sporting clays and trap shooting, as part of the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program’s (TNSCTP) state championship event in Nashville.
TNSCTP is a program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, with key partner support from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Approximately 200 school-based teams—from elementary through high school—participate in local, regional and statewide competitions, and the program is considered to be among the best in the nation.
“This has been the biggest year yet for our program, with four Junior Olympians named and the competition getting stronger at every event,” said Andrew Peercy, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s statewide TNSCTP manager. “Several of these teams could be in the running for national championships.”
47th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards Celebrate the Protection of Wildlife and Habitat
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Each year since 1965, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) has honored a select group of leaders in the conservation and stewardship of wildlife and their habitat in Tennessee.
"These awards recognize those individuals and organizations that have made truly meaningful contributions to conservation in Tennessee and to TWF," says Michael Butler, the Federation's chief executive officer. "The current generation is building upon the great work of our past winners, and we are proud to honor their contributions."
The 47th Annual TWF Conservation Achievement Awards were held Wednesday, April 18, at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville.
Colonel Patricia Jones, Director of the Tennessee National Guard’s J9 Military and Family Readiness Operations, and Sergeant Major Darrell Allen with the Tennessee Army National Guard
Recruiting and Retention Battalion accepted a TWF Davis P. Rice Scholarship on behalf of Jarvis Kinnie-Shaw, son of the late Sergeant First Class David James Shaw of Jackson.Kinnie-Shaw, who attends the Tennessee Technological Center in Jackson, was unable to attend because of finals. The scholarship program was created to honor the life of Davis P. Rice, son of former TWF Chairman Tom Rice and a passionate outdoorsman who lost his life in an automobile accident while in college. The Tennessee Army National Guard is the presenting sponsor of TWF’s Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program.
The Rocky Fork Partnership was named Conservation Organization of the Year for leading an effort to raise $40 million to protect the iconic Rocky Fork tract of land in the Cherokee National Forest.
Certified Environmental Educator to Oversee Program That Gets Inner-City Kids Outdoors
The Tennessee Wildlife Federation has named Sonya Wood Mahler manager of the Great Outdoors University (GOU) program that provides life-changing outdoor experiences to inner-city children who otherwise may not have the opportunity.
The new TWF Hummingbird license plate is now available at your local county clerk's office! Thanks to a generous gift to the Capital Campaign by TWF board member Dan Hammond, TWF pre-sold the required 1,000 plates to place our new hummingbird plate into production. The artwork was generously provided by renowned wildlife artist Phillip Crowe of Franklin, TN. The featured ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the most beautiful and commonly found varieties of the species found in Tennessee.
For more information on getting a specialty plate, click here. Thanks to all of you that helped support wildlife by pre-purhasing this plate!
Volunteer State Wins Most Gold Medals Among 31 States Represented
SPARTA, Ill. – The best competitive scholastic shotgun shooters in America came together July 17-21 for the National Scholastic Clay Target Program Championships in Sparta, Ill. In the end, Tennessee teams and individual participants had earned 13 national titles in skeet, sporting clays and trap.
Among the 31 states participating, no other had more gold medals.
“Tennessee has earned a reputation for bringing top-flight shooters each year to compete against the best in the nation,” said Andrew Peercy, statewide manager for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program. “These kids, their coaches and parents have worked tirelessly to prepare for this event, sometimes years worth of preparation. On the world stage, USA shooters won Olympic gold medals this year, and the sky’s the limit for some of these kids.”
In the skeet competition, the Haywood County Young Guns team won the Intermediate Entry category, with Henry County winning gold in the Rookie division. Individually, Haywood County’s Haynes Kirby won the national Intermediate Entry title, and Carah-beth Maddux was named national champion in the Ladies Varsity Skeet division.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation Plays Host to Competitive Skeet, Trap Event
PARIS, Tenn. - More than 130 participants in the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) converged on the Holly Fork Shooting Complex in Paris as part of the state's Junior Olympics competition, with winners named in men's and women's trap and skeet events.
As a USA Shooting event hosted by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, the competition is designed to help Olympic hopefuls hone their skills and compete against others for a chance to participate at the national level. Staff from the Holly Fork Shooting Complex and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency contributed key volunteer support.
"The Junior Olympics are the traditional kick-off to our TNSCTP season, and the talent is incredible," said Andrew Peercy, TWF's statewide manager for the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program. "We had four Tennessee shooters named to the U.S. Olympic shotgun development team this year, and these kids have a real shot of representing our nation on the world stage in years to come."
TWF Supports National Effort to Increase Youth Outdoor Participation
The North Face has awarded a $2,500 grant to TWF's Great Outdoors University (GOU) program, which will help low-wealth children and families explore the outdoors. Since 2006, GOU has provided meaningful outdoor experiences to more than 8,000 inner-city children in Memphis and Nashville through day and weekend camping, fishing and nature trips.
The TWF license plate has been manufactured and is now available to everyone! You can purchase the plate through your local County Clerk's office. For more information on how to purchase this plate click here.