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About The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Historical TWRA photo of two women hunting

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.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has come a long way since it was established in 1949 and was called the Game and Fish Commission. Completely reorganized in 1974, it now consists of more than 600 professionals dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of Tennessee's fish and wildlife for the enjoyment of all Tennesseans and our visitors.

Directed by a 13-member commission of private citizens appointed by the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the speaker of the senate, the TWRA is unique among state agencies. Unlike most departments, which are supported by tax revenues, the TWRA is funded largely through the monies generated by licenses and permits purchased by hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Yet the Agency plays a major, though often unseen, role in the life of every Tennessean.

With four regional offices strategically located to serve the western, middle, plateau, and eastern portion of the state, the TWRA's responsibilities are many and varied: wildlife officers educate boaters and young hunters as well as enforce the hunting, fishing, and boating laws; biologists and foresters manage the state's rich diversity of woods and waters and our game and nongame wildlife.

Our specialists conduct wildlife and aquatic education workshops, protect the state's vital wetlands; monitor water quality; and preserve the state's disappearing wildlife species. Our engineers construct boat ramps and docks for the boating and fishing public, while other professionals create accurate, updated maps of Agency-managed properties through a state-of-the-art computer imaging system. Still others sell hunting, fishing, and additional special wildlife recreational licenses; maintain records of the state's increasing number of registered boats; produce the Tennessee Wildlife magazine, and much, much more.

If you love outdoor sports - boating, hunting, fishing - and the natural world or if you just like to observe wildlife, build birdhouses, maintain a bird feeder or are just curious about the critters in your backyard - the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is here to help enrich your outdoor experience.

Learn More About "TWRA Today"

"The TWRA Today" video is now available online. The video describes the TWRA, its diversity of programs, and its effects on life in the Volunteer State.

The video highlights TWRA's history, wildlife, fishing, boating, and the wide-range of opportunities available to experience and enjoy as well as the positive economic impact that TWRA brings to the state.More