Tennessee Legislators are in the process of confirming four out of five commissioners appointed to serve on the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission (TFWC). One remaining appointment has yet to be announced. The TFWC is the governing body over the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, setting all rules and regulations governing hunting, fishing and boating in Tennessee.
The terms of five out of 13 commissioners on the TFWC expired with the February meeting. Completing their service were Chad Baker (Bristol), Dr. Jeff Cook (Franklin), Bill Cox (Collierville), Bill Swan (Dunlap) and Jamie Woodson (Lebanon).
Three of the appointments for six-year terms fall to Gov. Bill Lee who has appointed James W. “Jimmy” Granbery (Nashville, TFWC Dist. 5), Thomas L. “Tommy” Woods (Piney Flats, TFWC Dist. 1) and Dr. David “Hank” Wright (Memphis, TFWC Dist. 9) to fill the vacant six-year terms.
Rep. Glen Casada, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has appointed James H. “Jim” Ripley (Sevier County, TFWC Statewide) to a four-year term. This is the second time Ripley has served on the TFWC.
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally’s four-year appointment has yet to be named.
The Legislature must confirm all new appointments, however the process is usually a rubber stamp.
According to the formal resolution filed for the appointment, Jimmy Granbery is the Chairman and CEO of HG Hill Realty Company and “is a person of integrity and an active citizen whose benevolence, acumen, and strong commitment to public service have helped to enhance the well-being of this State and its citizens.”
Tommy Woods is the co-founder and manager of Acorn Electrical Specialists, Inc., a mid-sized industrial/commercial electrical contracting company and according to the resolution “an avid outdoorsman.”
Dr. Hank Wright holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and is employed as a veterinarian at The Pet Hospitals, according to the resolution.
Jim Ripley is an attorney and a partner with Sharp and Ripley, PLLC and described in the resolution as “a lifelong outdoorsman who is well informed in the subject of the conservation of game animals, birds, and fish within this State.” He was also a member of the inaugural Board of Directors of the Tennessee Education Lottery and served as a Commissioner of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission from 2012 to 2017.
This is the second time in recent years that five commissioners have rotated off of the TFWC at the same time. TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter said previously that, “It generally takes [new commissioners] a while to understand their role. Most aren’t acquainted with all the programs the Agency is involved in. Most tell me they had no idea the breadth of what we’re involved in or how state government really works. There is a learning curve to any new appointments that can be a challenge to get them up-to-speed.”
We contacted Lt. Gov. Randy McNally to ask about his pending four-year appointment. A spokesperson said, “he expects to make his decision soon.”
Again, the new appointments must still be confirmed by the full Legislature. The next scheduled meeting of the TFWC will be in late March.