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Wildlife Foundation Preserves Habitat
Created only two
years ago, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation has already
achieved results that will forever benefit sportsmen, but a desire to
create more hunting and fishing opportunities across the state will
require action from outdoorsmen.
"We have been able to make some great things happen by acquiring
needed funds through grants, but we need help from Tennessee's hunters and
fishermen to make giant strides we hope to take in Tennessee," noted David
Duval, executive director of the foundation.
During its brief existence, the foundation has helped purchase a
50,000-acre tract of wetland in East Tennessee, has obtained a grant from
the Tennessee Valley Authority to help build paved paths for
wheelchair-bound hunters, and has worked to strengthen Tennessee's Hunters
for the Hungry program.
A group of sportsmen formed the foundation in late 1999 to pursue
projects deemed important by the state's wildlife management agency, but
that were often beyond reach of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Although successful with numerous wildlife recovery and land
acquisition goals during its 50-year history, the TWRA is a government
entity frequently handcuffed by budget restraints and policy restrictions.
"The Wildlife Foundation is not officially attached to TWRA, but it
operates closely with agency professionals," explained Duval. "While
obtaining public land is one of our biggest tasks, we have other projects
underway or planned. In the end, everything we do, and will do, is for the
benefit of sportsmen and for wildlife."
That is why the foundation recently opened membership to
individuals and is particularly seeking sportsmen as supporters. "We had
to get our organization off the ground before we could solicit individual
members, but we are off the ground now and we want hunters and fishermen
to join the foundation," said Duval. "I hope we can get at least half of
the state's sportsmen to come join us."
While the cost of membership is only $25 per year, the sum total
will help the foundation plan projects that before 1999 could only be
dreamed about by TWRA biologists, wildlife officers, and agency
"That's all we are asking is $25," said Duval. "Memberships will
help us work toward acquiring more public land, and toward more projects
to manage our wildlife and fish. New members will receive a vehicle decal
and a membership card that shows they support the foundation."
Checks or money orders can be sent to the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Foundation (or TWRF) at PO Box 110031, Nashville, TN 37222.
"The money will be put to good use," said Duval. "We believe firmly
in the importance of our natural resources and access to those resources
by the public. We live in a great state that for sportsmen can get even
better with their help."
Other Wildlife Foundation projects underway
*Working with TWRA and other organizations to obtain enough funds in an
effort to purchase more than 80,000 acres of land adjacent to Royal Blue
Wildlife Management Area in East Tennessee, a popular hunting site.
*Working with TWRA and other organizations in an effort to obtain a large
tract of property adjacent to Anderson Tully Wildlife Management area in
West Tennessee, also popular with hunters.
*Working with TWRA to publish a habitat improvement booklet for
Tennessee's farmers that could help improve the future for small game,
such as rabbit and quail.