Since 1946, Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been protecting our wild places and things and connecting people with the great outdoors.

Always remember that Tennessee’s wildlife is YOUR wildlife. This is not just a catch phrase. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation was established in American case law of the 1860s when the creation of the “Seven Sisters of Conservation” (see the sidebar) by sportsmen and women began in earnest.

Simply put, Tennessee’s wildlife is YOUR wildlife! It is the responsibility of ALL Tennesseans who love our state’s incredible natural resources and wild places to help keep them intact for the generations that come after us. Tennessee Wildlife Federation acts as the “tip of the spear” of conservation in the Volunteer State, but only together can we keep our wild places wild, our animal populations thriving, and our access to the Great Outdoors unimpeded.

Be a part of this important mission.


The “Seven Sisters of Conservation” — Tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

Click each “sister” to reveal an explanation.

1. Wildlife is held in the public trust

In North American, natural resources and wildlife are managed by government agencies to ensure that current and future generations always have wildlife and wild places to enjoy.

2. Prohibition on commerce of dead wildlife

Commercial hunting and the sale of wildlife is prohibited to ensure the sustainability of wildlife populations.

3. Democratic rule of law

Hunting and fishing laws are created through the public process where everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to develop systems of wildlife conservation and use.

4. Hunting opportunity for ALL

Every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in the United States and Canada.

5. Non-frivolous use of wildlife

In North America, individuals may legally kill certain wild animals under strict guidelines for food and fur, self-defense and property protection.  Laws restrict against the casual killing of wildlife merely for antlers, horns or feathers.

6. International resources

Wildlife and fish migrate freely across boundaries between states, provinces and countries.  Working together, the United States and Canada jointly coordinate wildlife and habitat management strategies.  The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 demonstrates this cooperation between countries to protect wildlife.  The Act made it illegal to capture or kill migratory birds, except as allowed by specific hunting regulations.

7. Scientific management

Sound science is essential to managing and sustaining North America’s wildlife and habitats. For example, researchers put radio collars on elk to track the animals’ movements to determine where elk give birth and how they react to motor vehicles on forest roads.

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