The Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation for its outstanding achievement in promoting conservation of wildlife and natural resources on the state and national level.
“Tennessee Wildlife Federation is one of the most effective conservation organizations in our nation. Period. Tennessee is blessed with the greatest diversity of wildlife of any inland state in our great nation—and fortunately, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is leading the charge on restoring wildlife habitat, keeping wildlife and public lands public, and connecting all Tennesseans with wildlife,” said Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation CEO. “We love working with the whole team to put points on the board for conservation and we could not be more proud of our 72-year partnership. We are honored to recognize Tennessee Wildlife Federation as our Federation’s 2018 Affiliate of the Year.”
Founded in 1946 as the Tennessee Conservation League, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is the oldest and largest nonprofit conservation organization in the state. The Federation’s mission is to lead the conservation, sound management, and wise use of Tennessee’s wildlife and great outdoors.
“Being named Affiliate of the Year really speaks to the work of our Tennessee Wildlife Federation family. While the Federation and its supporters have been characterized by strength and passion since its founding in 1946, we have made significant strides in recent years to better affect change in Tennessee and nationally,” said Kendall McCarter, chief development officer of Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “We’re thrilled to see those efforts bear fruit and be acknowledged.”
The Federation has experienced strong growth in recent years that has enabled it to be an even stronger voice of wildlife and the outdoorsmen and women who value it.
Since its founding, the Federation has built a reputation for its expertise in the field and is regularly engaged by agencies and organizations across the state on diverse conservation issues. Federation leadership was recently added to Gov. Haslam’s TN H2O Steering Committee as well as the TVA Regional Energy Resource Council.
Additionally, the Federation works to affect legislation at the local, state, and national levels. In 2017 alone, Tennessee Wildlife Federation spearheaded or influenced 12 state bills and amendments, ranging from chronic wasting disease safeguards to funding for better management of water resources.
Outside of policy, the Federation works hard to engage youth in dynamic and full immersion programming to recruit new generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Recently, the Federation’s Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program has added advanced coach training opportunities with Olympic and world-class shooting experts. And the Youth Hunting & Fishing Program is piloting an initiative that mentors youth during in-depth, multi-day hunting and fishing experiences.
Stewardship programs are also among the Federation’s initiatives. With a full-time wildlife biologist on staff, the Federation has led the conservation or restoration of more than 13,000 acres of habitat and watersheds in Tennessee. And Hunters for the Hungry enables better white-tailed deer herd management while feeding hungry families in Tennessee. After several consecutive record-breaking years, more than 6 million meals have been distributed.
“Tennessee Wildlife Federation is honored to receive the Affiliate of the Year award. The Federation has been instrumental to bringing wildlife and conservation issues to the forefront of Tennessee consciousness and providing pathways for people to participate in conservation,” said Michael Butler, chief executive officer of Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “We’re confident our efforts will persist now and in the future and this is a fitting addition to our legacy in Tennessee.”
The Federation will be presented with the award in June at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.