Tennessee Wildlife Federation
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615-353-1133
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300 Orlando Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209
Organization Details

Statements

Mission

Tennessee Wildlife Federation is one of the largest and oldest organizations in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation of the state's wildlife and natural resources through stewardship, youth engagement, and public policy. We bring together and represent the varied interests of people who enjoy the great outdoors. Your support helps to lead the conservation, sound management, and wise use of Tennessee's wildlife and great outdoors.

Background

Tennessee Wildlife Federation was established in 1946 and is one of the state's oldest and largest conservation organizations. We are the only full-time policy watchdog in the state focused on matters that impact our wildlife, wild places, and precious natural resources. We were founded to ensure wildlife management is free of political agenda and uses science-based approaches for the stewardship of our land, air, water, and the wildlife within.

Over our 74-year history, Tennessee Wildlife Federation has shaped Tennessee's wildlife policy, advanced landmark legislation on air and water quality, helped restore species and their habitats, introduced new generations to the outdoors, and connected hungry families to local venison. Our policy work has spanned from helping return signature species to our ecosystem, to passing Tennessee's version of the clean air act, to securing the constitutional right of all Tennesseans to hunt and fish.

Because people are at the heart of our work, the Federation has built a series of programs to get the next generation outdoors and turn them into lifelong wildlife enthusiasts. Those enthusiasts then grow and pass the legacy of conservation on to generations to come. These programs lead people on a path that builds awareness, provides opportunities for deeper involvement, and encourages a life outdoors, hunting, birding, hiking, and kayaking:
• Hunting and Fishing Academy leads novice youth and adult participants into hunting and fishing activities for the first time. We provide them the knowledge, skills, resources, and social encouragement needed to go again on their own.
• Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program gets students across the state outside to participate in shotgun shooting sports such as skeet, trap, and sporting clays.
• Hunters for the Hungry provides healthy, much-needed protein to Tennessee's citizens in need while helping to manage the state's deer herd. We collect deer donations from Tennessee's hunters, process the meat, and distribute the venison to local food banks, soup kitchens, and hunger-relief agencies. Since 1998, Hunters for the Hungry has provided more than 7 MILLION MEALS to Tennesseans in need!
• Habitat Conservation protects and restores biologically significant wetlands, waterways, forests and fields.

Impact

As a sportsmen-based organization, our network of relationships makes the Federation stand apart from other conservation groups. That's why we measure our impact in both policy victories and human engagement in the outdoors. Recent successes include:
• Hunters for the Hungry had a fantastic year, collecting over 145,000 pounds of lean, healthy protein-rich venison, which provided more than half a million meals to food banks and pantries across the state.
• Our policy team advanced legislation recently signed by the President that will provide $25 million to the Southeast United States to fight Asian Carp-an invasive species that decimates local wildlife.
• We helped secure $2.3 million in annual recurring funding for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's water-focused work through the passage of a fuel sales tax re-appropriation.
• Because sportsmen and women are the primary conservationists in Tennessee today, the Federation is continually and actively recruiting and re-activating Tennessee's next generation of enthusiasts. We introduce over 2,500 youth and their parents annually to the outdoors through our Scholastic Clay Target Program and Hunting & Fishing Academy.

Needs

As our programs are quite individual in the types of services they provide and the people they serve, our needs are quite varied. Organizationally, our greatest need is maintaining operational funding for our talented staff to accomplish the goals set forth by our strategic plan. To truly address the mounting threats facing Tennessee's wildlife and habitats, we are growing our policy and communications teams. These staff members are the key to policy progress and an instrumental aspect of realizing our current strategic plan.

In general, our programs are scalable, meaning that a change in restricted funding results in providing more or less of the benefits our programs provide and do not require shutting them down completely. However, all of our programs share one pressing need: better measurement tools to more reliably evaluate success. The Federation relies heavily on volunteers for our programmatic successes, and we are exploring options for volunteer management systems. These systems will not only streamline our efforts and join programs, but would also create a pipeline from youth event participants to future adult volunteers.

CEO Statement

In its most simple form, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is a collection of people who care deeply about the outdoors. We are people connected to Tennessee's land and the wildlife it supports, through our history, our passions, and our lifestyles. We are sportsmen and women, we are hikers, we are birdwatchers, and we are conservationists. But maybe most importantly, we value the wild things with whom we share our land, and we respect their place in our natural world.

For us, the outdoors are more than recreation; they have been and will continue to be part of our lifestyle. For more than 70 years, the Federation has worked to make certain that our children and grandchildren are blessed with the bounty we helped build and are looking to pass on. We have done this by teaching them, we have done this by restoring what was once here, and we have done this by standing watch over what we have worked so hard to build. And, while these creatures and the land, water and forests in which they live are the focus of our work, it is the relationships that we develop and maintain that sustain the Federation's work and continue to allow us to be successful in our efforts. Our work is not possible without people like you.

Board Chair Statement

I am very proud to be Chairman of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. We are the champions of Tennessee's great outdoors, and I believe that the future of the Federation depends on involving our young people in the outdoors. It is amazing to see the self-esteem that grows from the leadership and responsibility our youth engagement programs like Tennessee SCTP, Hunting and Fishing Academy, and Hunters for the Hungry's Hunger Challenge foster in Tennessee youth.

Youth Development is only part of what the Federation offers Tennesseans. The other two legs of our three-legged stool are Land Management & Restoration and Public Policy. We encourage managing the state's deer herd with responsible hunting, and we have coordinated the donation of over 1.5 million pounds of venison to hungry Tennesseans, providing over seven million meals through our Hunters for the Hungry program since 1998. We led efforts to restore the Bald Eagle and Elk to Tennessee. In 2010, we led the effort to pass the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution.

Today our biggest challenge is that so few Tennesseans know who we are and what we do. Part of this stems from a name change as we began as the Tennessee Conservation League in 1946 and adopted our current identity in 2004. The Federation is in the unique position of having both a rich history and a fresh face. Every Tennessean deserves opportunities to enjoy our state's natural heritage, and the Federation exists to protect and provide those opportunities. When every Tennessean knows about our accomplishments, we will be capable of even greater feats.


Service Categories

Primary Category: Environment  - Natural Resources Conservation & Protection 
Secondary Category: Environment  - Alliances & Advocacy 
Tertiary Category: Recreation & Sports  - Fishing & Hunting 

Areas Served

TN