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The official seal of the TWRA appears on uniforms, vehicles, boats, and aircraft.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (also known as TWRA) is an independent state agency of the state of Tennessee with the mission of managing the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as responsibility for all wildlife-related law enforcement activities. The agency also has responsibility for fostering the safe use of the state's waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access.

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History and organization

The role of the TWRA was originally handled by various state agencies and departments until 1949, when the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission was set up as an independent agency. In 1974, the Game and Fish Commission was reorganized as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The TWRA is governed by the 13-member Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission, whose members are citizens appointed by the governor, the speaker of the state house, and the speaker of the state senate.

Each county in the state is assigned at least one uniformed TWRA officer. The state is divided into four administrative regions, with offices in Jackson, Nashville (also the location of the headquarters), Crossville and Morristown. Each region is itself divided into a number of law enforcement areas (typically three), headed by a law enforcement supervisor and an assistant supervisor that oversee and coordinate the activities of the officers in their area.

Law enforcement

TWRA officers are tasked with enforcing state and federal game and non-game wildlife regulations, including hunting, fishing and trapping. The TWRA is also responsible for enforcing all boating laws (such as patrolling for intoxicated boaters, checking for correct boat registration, and enforcement of safety regulations) and maintaining public boat access areas.

Although TWRA officers concentrate on wildlife-related law enforcement and rarely are called to enforce other laws, they carry not only state-level commissions, but commissions granted by the federal government as well, giving them the ability and responsibility to enforce all state, local, and federal codes.

Other responsibilities

The TWRA and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have begun an elk reintroduction program to East Tennessee

The TWRA takes an active role in wildlife and fisheries conservation and the reintroduction of wildlife that were driven from an area due to human intervention. Recent conservation activities included the successful reintroduction of wild turkeys to West and Middle Tennessee, as well as a successful elk reintroduction program in East Tennessee. The TWRA manages over 215,000 acres (870 km2) of forested land for public hunting and wildlife research. The TWRA maintains a modern forensics laboratory at the University of Tennessee, Martin that includes state of the art DNA analysis equipment.

TWRA officers are often called to provide assistance in search and rescue operations, due to their extensive experience working in woodland environments. TWRA officers also are included in Department of Homeland Security training as first responders and anti-terrorism enforcement officials.

TWRA officers were sent to the Gulf Coast to provide assistance to local law enforcement and rescue teams in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

See also


External links

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