With the retirement of Senator Alexander, a race is on to become Tennessee’s next senator.
It’s up to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to let candidates know that the great outdoors is an important voting issue. So, Tennessee Wildlife Federation asked every candidate to share their views on conservation, and below are the responses we received.
Below are the views of candidate Kacey Morgan. All answers, information, and images are unedited and appear as they were provided by the campaign.
Primary voting ends August 6. Find your polling location here.
About Kacey Morgan
Kacey Morgan was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent most of her childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee. She attended John Tyler Community College and Virginia State University for undergraduate study and earned a degree in Political Science 2012. She earned a graduate degree in Sustainability from the University of Oregon in 2013. Kacey’s career experience includes working as an operations director and as a freelance project and events manager. She has served as a volunteer member with Walk Bike Nashville and as a member with Tennessee Women in Green. Kacey is running to offer a true voice for the people and to take money completely out of politics. In addition to being an environmental friendly candidate, Kacey has earned the Mom’s Demand Action Common Sense Gun Candidate distinction, is a supporter of Medicare For All, The Green New Deal and in Restructuring (Defunding) the Police budget and moving resources to support communities and prevent crimes before they occur. Find out more at www.KaceyMorgan.org.
Federation: Do you have a favorite public land in Tennessee? What do you enjoy doing there?
Morgan: I was motivated to move back to my childhood home of Tennessee because of the number of beautiful parks and natural recreation spaces here. Hiking, exploring natural areas and camping are some of my most favorite activities. Last summer we spent a few nights at Falls Creek Falls and enjoyed hiking and connecting with nature. We followed it up with a short trip to Chattanooga where we explored several trails, Rock City and a few nearby breweries and restaurants. Locally I enjoy the variety of Greenways in the Nashville area as well as local and state parks.
Federation: There are a lot of issues facing our natural resources and the Tennesseans who depend on them for recreation and their livelihood. Please rank these issues in the order they are most important to you and please explain the reason for your number one pick.
Morgan: I have ordered the issues listed and I would choose to focus on strategic growth for Tennesseans first as I view the rapid population growth in Tennessee as an imminent threat to our beautiful state. Focusing on this issue first will also offer an umbrella view that will allow focus of all the other issues. You can’t invest in wildlife management without conserving their habitat.
- Strategic public lands growth and access for conservation and recreation
- Invest in wildlife management to prevent endangered and threatened species
- Support for private land management for wildlife
- Implement high-impact aquatic habitat projects to improve our waters
- Federal funding and other support to combat Chronic Wasting Disease in deer
- Fund adequate responses to non-native invasive species, like Asian carp
Federation: Last fall, a Tennessee Wildlife Federation-led effort successfully secured $25 million of federal funding to fight Asian carp. It is a one-time appropriation that is split among several states. If you are elected, how would you support similar efforts? What you would do differently?
Morgan: I would support a nationwide effort to build blockades/fences to prevent the spread and will find various ways to promote the fishing / harvesting of Asian Carp where they exist already. This would prevent the spread while also doing the least amount of harm to native wildlife.
Federation: As a senator, what would you do for our natural resources, from public lands to wildlife and water, that are held in the public trust—that are collectively owned by all Americans?
Morgan: Protecting our natural resources for future generations is very important to me. There are so many ways our public lands are being threatened. As your senator I would craft a bill that would seek to protect our natural resources and wildlife for years to come. From preventing the commercialization of natural wonders like the Grand Canyon to requiring every community to forge a Climate Action Plan and also require them to implement it.
Federation: Tennessee Wildlife Federation operates a number of programs to improve the great outdoors and Tennesseans’ lives, including habitat restoration work, Hunters for the Hungry, and even creating new sportsmen through Hunting and Fishing Academy. What support would you look to provide as a senator?
Morgan: As your Senator I would seek to implement more interaction with our wildlife reserves and with students of all ages. I would work to create programs that engages students with the natural areas both near and far. This could include hiring more park rangers whose focus would be to teach plant and animal identification, foraging, habitat restoration and more.
Federation: A significant number of Tennessee streams, rivers, and lakes are unable to support healthy aquatic life. What would you do as Senator to heal this backbone of our environment and many local economies in the state?
Morgan: Each and every community is responsible for their impact on our natural areas. As mentioned earlier as your Senator I would require that every community both create and implement a Climate Action Plan. These plans should include action steps to protect water quality and the people and animals that depend on those riparian habitats.
Federation: What did we not ask you today that you’d tell Tennessee’s outdoor enthusiasts?
Morgan: If you are reading this, I share your passion for the outdoors. I believe in leaving no trace and I thoroughly enjoy spending time outside. There have been many Black Fridays where I’ve chosen to #OptOutside instead. In conjunction with my passion for the outdoors, I have a background in sustainability and I will be a leader for pushing our nation to a future of clean energy and am in full support of the Green New Deal.