Tennessee Wildlife Federation recognizes leaders in conservation from across the state
Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources, recognized 15 individuals and companies from all corners of the state for its 56th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards. To ensure the health and safety of this year’s winners, the Federation celebrated the awards virtually on May 19.
“This is the Federation’s 56th year hosting the awards and our 75th anniversary as an organization,” said Kendall McCarter, chief development officer for the Federation. “Being our 75th anniversary and after a year when the great outdoors were more important to our daily lives than usual, we are eager to recognize and celebrate those who have gone above and beyond for Tennessee’s natural places.”
Awards spanned from Conservation Communicator and Conservation Educator to Forest Conservationist and the Z. Cartter Patten Award for many years of service to the cause of conservation in Tennessee.
The honorees of the 56th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards are as follows.
Z.Cartter Patten Award, for many years of service to conservation
Senator Lamar Alexander Jr. of Maryville, Tenn. with work nationwide
Senator Lamar Alexander Jr. served as Tennessee’s senator from 2003 to 2021 and as its governor from 1979 to 1987. Alexander has a long and proven history of working to preserve not only Tennessee’s, but the nation’s, natural heritage. Alexander grew up near Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he spent many weekends exploring Tennessee’s wild places and developing a passion for conservation. During his decades of public service, Alexander championed countless issues, from chairing President Reagan’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, to restoring anglers’ access to tailwater fishing.
Most recently, Alexander led the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020—marking the biggest win for public lands in decades. The Act provides five years of funding, up to a total of $9.5 billion, to address a sizable portion of the national parks’ maintenance backlog. The same bill also provides full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. At $900 million every year, this will expand recreation opportunities, conserve wildlife, and create jobs. Because of Alexander’s leadership and commitment to conserve the great outdoors, future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy Tennessee’s natural areas for years to come.
Watch his video at tnwf.org/Lamar
On Target Award, for outstanding support of Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program
Doug Bryant of Knoxville, Tenn.
Doug Bryant is this year’s recipient of the On Target Award for his outstanding support of the Federation’s Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). Bryant served as a member of the program’s steering committee for more than a decade and served as its chairman for two years. During that time, he was instrumental in shaping Tennessee SCTP into the successful program it is today. Bryant was always willing to work with new and young athletes and was quick to provide guidance to coaches and new teams throughout the state. His wisdom was always welcomed in the community. Bryant passed away in August of 2020. The award will be presented to his family.
- Cartter Patten Award — Senator Lamar Alexander Jr. of Maryville, Tenn.
- Clark Akers, III Champion of Conservation Award — Tom Rice of Nashville, Tenn.
- Chairman’s Award — Libby and Frank Duff of Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Wildlife Conservationist of the Year — Greg Vital of Georgetown, Tenn.
- Land Conservationist of the Year — Cayce McAlister of Nashville, Tenn.
- Forest Conservationist of the Year — Bridgestone Americas Inc. in Nashville, Tenn.
- Conservation Organization of the Year — Nashville Symphony in Nashville, Tenn.
- Conservation by Business — Grasslands Environmental in Nashville, Tenn.
- Conservation Educator of the Year — Connie Deegan of Elizabethton, Tenn.
- Conservation Communicator of the Year — Jenifer Wisniewski of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
- Youth Conservationist of the Year — Cash Daniels of Chattanooga, Tenn.
- On Target Award — Doug Bryant of Knoxville, Tenn.
- Dan & Cherie Hammond Sharing the Harvest Award — Keith Clow of Clarksville, Tenn.
- Gedeon D. Petit Memorial Award — Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Public Land Duck Hunting Team with work statewide
- Hunter Education Instructor of the Year — Philip Ware of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.