Last week marked my first as chairman of the board for Tennessee Wildlife Federation. I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks to both our past chairman, Ric Wolbrecht, and to you.
It is only because of the combination of your support and his leadership that the Federation has had an absolutely unbelievable five years.
I count myself lucky to be taking the helm of this organization at this time and pledge to you—our supporters—to keep this momentum going.
Can I tell you what you’ve achieved in just the last half-decade?
In the policy arena, you have built an organization that:
- Is the only conservation organization able to secure interviews with candidates for governor and senate.
- Secured millions upon millions in Asian carp funding from state and federal sources
- After years of work with organizations nationwide, we helped secure the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act and America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which included permanent authorization and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
- Began the long process of applying rules on companies flooding our streams with rental canoes and kayaks.
- And with Tennessee CLEAN, we’re on the verge of the organization’s most ambitious policy effort ever.
- Supported efforts to expand public-lands waterfowling opportunities and make them more equitable.
We partnered with National Wildlife Federation on its Certified Wildlife Habitat program. Our efforts launched in 2019 and have nearly doubled the number of people improving their yards for wildlife.
The Habitat Conservation program has more active projects now than any time in its history—from wetland restorations to prescribed burns.
In the last few years, Hunters for the Hungry has set new records for the number of pounds of venison donated to hungry families. And it’s been able to offer free processing on ALL donations for several years running.
Born out of our Youth Hunting and Fishing Program pilot, our Hunting & Fishing Academy officially launched. And last year, it introduced programming online and for adults.
Tennessee SCTP is providing more competitions for athletes and training for coaches than ever before. It continues to be a standard-setter at national competitions.
Finally, for the first time in four decades, we were named Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in 2018.
That’s a busy five years. And I pledge to do my absolute best to be a partner to you and keep these successes coming.
Bruce Fox of Knoxville
Chairman of the Board of Directors