In February, the Tennessee legislature attempted to remove public access on one of the most popular wildlife management areas in the state. Tennessee Rep. Scott Cepicky has been positioning for over a year to build an agricultural center on Yanahli Wildlife Management Area, the second most popular WMA in the state. Earlier this month Cepicky submitted a bill to transfer the land from state control to the local county, which threatened Yanahli's status as a WMA. A senator joined him in this effort with a companion bill. The Tennessee chapter quickly became aware of the issue and joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation amongst others in combatting the bills. The chapter launched a statewide action alert in conjunction with TWF. Within days, thousands of emails were sent to lawmakers, leading to both bills being quickly withdrawn!
Along with the Yanhali victory, Tennessee BHA was at the tip of the spear on another access win. Cook Recreation Area, a 220-acre, massively popular lake access point that sits within a few minutes' drive of Nashville, was floated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for private lease. The chapter launched a petition against the possible lease and promoted it via email and paid ads. In less than a month the Corps released a statement rescinding the possibility of the lease.
Congrats to the Tennessee chapter!