Wildlife mandate in statute

“It is the policy of the state that the agency shall be nonpartisan and shall place first and foremost the welfare of the wildlife and its environment in the agency’s planning and decisions, and to encourage, by every appropriate means, the full development of the state’s natural resources to the benefit of all of the citizens of Tennessee, including, but not limited to, the creation of a comprehensive long-range management plan to integrate the wildlife resource agency’s efforts and to implement and encourage full utilization of Tennessee’s wildlife resources consistent with realistic conservation principles.”

The Commission:

  • Name: Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • Regulatory or advisory: Regulatory
  • Number of voting members: 13
  • Term length: 6 years for governor appointed members, 4 years for General Assembly appointed members
  • How selected: 9 members appointed by Governor, 4 members appointed by General Assembly
  • Senate confirmation required: yes
    • Each member shall be confirmed by the agriculture and natural resources committee of the house of representatives and the energy, agriculture and natural resources committee of the senate and by joint resolution of the general assembly prior to beginning a term of office.
  • Selection criteria per statute

“An independent and separate administrative board of conservation for game, fish and wildlife of the state is created, to be known and referred to as the Tennessee fish and wildlife commission, hereinafter referred to as the “fish and wildlife commission” or the “commission,” to consist of thirteen (13) citizens of this state, which citizens shall be well informed on the subject of the conservation of game animals, birds and fish in this state…In making appointments to the fish and wildlife commission, the governor and the speakers shall strive to ensure that at least one (1) person serving on the commission is sixty (60) years of age or older, at least one (1) person serving on the commission is a member of a racial minority, and at least two (2) persons serving on the commission are female.”

  • From the Commission’s website

“The men and women who serve Tennessee’s sportsmen, wildlife enthusiasts, and boaters, strive to create a combination of management that has positive results for our natural resources and our citizens who have long provided monetary and moral support for wise fisheries and wildlife management. Our TFWC commissioners are the sportsman’s representatives when it comes to fish, wildlife, and state boating issues.”

The Agency:

  • Name: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Type: Standalone agency
  • Title of Agency Director: Executive Director
  • Selection process: Appointed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • Mission statement from agency website

The Mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is to preserve, conserve, manage, protect, and enhance the fish and wildlife of the state and their habitats for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Tennessee and its visitors. The Agency will foster the safe use of the state’s waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access.”

Revenue for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (FY2022- 23)

† Other: Interdepartmental (13.8%)

†† All Other: Reserve (3.9%), Current Services (4.5%)


Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency FY2022-23 Annual Report

Find Your State

America’s Wildlife Values was an extensive 2018 nationwide survey led by Colorado State University of public attitudes towards wildlife. Findings were compared with a 2004 survey to identify trends. Researchers also surveyed personnel at state wildlife agencies. Reports are available for national, state and agency results. (Some state agencies did not participate.)

State Report

Agency Culture Memo

National Report