CEO Blog

From the desk of Michael Butler

Michael Butler has served as TWF’s chief executive officer since June 2002. Butler works with elected officials, state and federal agencies, and civic leaders to implement sound natural resources policy. He joined TWF as director of conservation in April 1996, working with the organization’s Conservation Policy Advisory Council and board of directors to develop natural resource policy.

Photo courtesy of GURELUR.
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Crab Orchard Wind Farm — Are we considering ALL the costs?

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The truth is that the impacts of wind farms are significant, and they are decidedly not positive for Tennessee’s environment and wildlife. If you look at the 23 wind turbines proposed for Cumberland County, each 600 feet tall – three times the height of Neyland Stadium, with blades as long as a foot ball field – and plainly visible from 1-40 and the surrounding area, you begin to understand the scope.
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After 30 years, now is the time for Tennessee’s Great Outdoors

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The last time the state of Tennessee went through a process to determine the challenges and opportunities facing our state’s natural resources, I was a junior in high school and Ronald Reagan was President. In 1985, President Reagan asked then Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander to chair the President's Commission on “Americans Outdoors” and challenged the Commission to assess the status of our natural resources and the availability of outdoor recreational pursuits for the next generation of Americans and make recommendations to ensure the continued availability of such pursuits.
Cades Cove at dawn by Susan Hay.
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The Land and Water Conservation Fund: Is this the end?

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Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in 1964 “to protect and enhance our nation’s incomparable array of natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities.” As America’s most essential federal conservation program, LWCF has protected our national and state parks, wildlife refuges and forests; forests and ranches; cultural resources and historic sites; urban parks, backcountry hunting and fishing access; essential water resources, iconic scenery, and a broad array of irreplaceable natural resources. It has done all of these things via funding generated by off-shore oil and gas royalties rather than general taxes.
Hatchie River bottom in March, 2014. Photo by Mark Johnson.
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Protecting the Hatchie Scenic River

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Over the past ten years, economic development interests within the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) have conceived and begun to implement a plan to create a greenfield economic “megasite” between Brownsville, Tennessee and Memphis, Tennessee. As a point of clarification, a “greenfield megasite” is a tract consisting of at least 1,000 acres with water, sewer, highway, and rail access on previously undeveloped land.
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The Heart of Wildlife Conservation

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In 2004, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation embarked upon a journey that many in the conservation and hunting community questioned – establishing a personal right to hunt and fish for the citizens of Tennessee. At the time, there were no challenges to Tennessee’s hunting, angling, and trapping heritage. There were only a handful of hunters and anglers across the state even paying attention.
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a paleontological site and museum in Waco, Texas, United States where fossils of twenty-four Columbian mammoths and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch have been uncovered. (Source: Wikipedia)
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A quiet but effective conservation tool – the Antiquities Act

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By Michael Butler, CEO This past week some of our closest…
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A HAT TRICK WIN FOR TENNESSEE'S GREAT OUTDOORS!

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It's been a busy couple of months in public policy related to…
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CONSERVATION NON-PROFITS NEED YOU: HERE'S WHY

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If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing well.  Here is…