View Full Version : HB 2856 Would Eliminate TWRA

03-10-2008, 02:06 PM
There is a discussion about this on Mike Anderson's board. Thought everyone should know about this.


Paula Begley
03-10-2008, 02:19 PM
Wow.just.wow! Thanks for the link, Troutman.

From the link posted by Troutman:

In summary, House Bill 2856 (http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/bills/currentga/BILL/HB2856.pdf) "creates the division of wildlife resources within the Tennessee department of environment and conservation, abolishes the Tennessee wildlife resources agency, (TWRA) and transfers all duties, responsibilities, and functions of the TWRA to the division of wildlife resources (under the Dept. of Environment and Conservation).

The bill designates that funds from hunting and fishing licenses would go to Tennessee's general fund rather than being designated specifically for funding wildlife and fisheries programs.

They don't care about non-oversight. They care about getting their paws on the license money for the general fund. This bill must be defeated. I have sent an email to our rep, Joe McCord. I'll let you know if I hear anything back from him.

Here is a list of State Reps (http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/house/members/hmembers.htm#Find), email yours today.


David Knapp
03-10-2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the heads up...this has trouble written all over it. Also, thanks for posting that link Paula. I'm going to definitely be sending an email and encourage everyone else to do the same...

Paula Begley
03-10-2008, 05:32 PM
I have also sent an email to a good friend who serves as a lobbyist. He is going to look into it and find out what the buzz is on the Hill. He promised to let me know what's going on with the bill. He did say, "this bill won't have chance in ****."

That said, emails to your state rep will not hurt. Outrage from constituents works wonders. :biggrin:


03-10-2008, 06:28 PM
Just e-mailed my rep. Called mom and dad, told them to do so as well.

tire guy
03-10-2008, 07:00 PM
Thanks for bringing this to our attention Troutman. And thanks to Paula for making it so easy to take action.

Byron Begley
03-10-2008, 08:04 PM
This is the most stupid thing I've heard of in my life or close to it. OK, let's go back to the year 1900 or earlier. I'll be on this, believe me!


03-10-2008, 08:27 PM
Man this move would be dumb!
Just emailed my Representative.
Hope everyone take the time do express your opinion to your Rep.

03-10-2008, 09:24 PM
I am going to let everyone I know how stupid this bill is. You think that elected officials would have more sense than this. She will feel the wrath of Byron and Paula.

03-10-2008, 09:31 PM

This would be a disaster if enacted.

03-10-2008, 10:35 PM
Done as well. Gotta make sure the word gets out about this one. Time to make some phone calls to everyone that I know.

Thanks for the heads up Troutman and lets make sure this one never, ever gets passed.

Mike McGuffin

Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 09:37 AM
Just giving this a bump so folks will see it. For your convenience, here's that link again for your state reps. (http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/house/members/hmembers.htm#Find) Get those emails going. Defeat House Bill 2856 that seeks to eliminate TWRA!


03-11-2008, 11:09 AM
Since I am now a Tennessee landowner, I have a bit of a voice in this. If I didn't know any better, I would swear this was a bill crafted in Baton Rouge, circa 1975 (Edwin Edwards administration), not Nashville. I guess every place has its share of stupid politicians. The money grab is the obvious point in all this - put it in the general fund, where it goes into a bottomless pit and can be spent on anything.

I don't know what the rules are in Tennessee concerning lobbying, but I hope the sportsman's groups have some good ones, and they can kill this in committee.

03-11-2008, 11:15 AM
Any information on the 14 co-sponsors? A deluge of emails to each from all sportsman (you don't have to be a Tennessee resident since your license fees contribute to TWRA's welfare) will make many re-think their sponsorship to such an idioitic piece of legislation.

Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 12:04 PM
I'll find out and post the names of all of the sponsors.


03-11-2008, 12:16 PM
Paula, I sent you an email.
I also shot an email to my local legislator in Sevier co. yesterday. I haven't heard back yet.

03-11-2008, 01:24 PM
Sent my email to one Mr. Montgomery of Sevier Co. I can't believe that someone would even think about doing this!


Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 01:29 PM
Thanks, Gary. I actually found that link last night - I thought I had read the sponsors somewhere. Gary was pointing me to the conversation taking place on Mike Anderson's board. The link is here. (http://trophyfishingtn.com/smf/index.php?topic=1649.0)

The sponsors are: Jones, Borchert, Brooks H, Coleman, Johnson C, Litz, Lundberg, Niceley, Pinion, Pruitt, Shepard, Sontany, Tidwell,
West, and Yokley.

Email away, folks. :biggrin: Again, here is the link to State Reps emails. (http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/house/members/hmembers.htm#Find)
Reference HB 2856.


03-11-2008, 03:13 PM
I emailed the sports editor at the Knoxville Sentinel, Bob Hodge, and he said he wrote on this about two weeks ago but says he is planning another piece since it seems to be getting some press elsewhere. Hopefully more people will read his column this time, I know I missed it. From all appearances Mr. Hodge is a big supporter of TWRA ...

03-11-2008, 04:25 PM
...I don't know what the rules are in Tennessee concerning lobbying, but I hope the sportsman's groups have some good ones, and they can kill this in committee.

Not that there shouldn't be any cause for concern, but I had a breif exchange with Rep Gary Moore who, said he was opposed HB 2856 and added that, "... Jones has not even put this bill on notice to be heard in committee yet."

As I understand the process, only a small percentage of those Bills introduced into committee ever make it out....

Let's make sure this one doesn't survive

Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 06:38 PM
I just got an email from my lobbyist friend (who is a hunter and fisherman himself...so of the good ilk of lobbyists ;)) and he told me that "twra added a $16 million fiscal note in loss of federal funds that would result from the change." He doesn't think it stands a chance of passage. He'll continue to watch and keep us informed.


Byron Begley
03-11-2008, 06:44 PM
Joe McCord is our State Representative and a friend of Paula and I. She and I were the first two people to sign his petition when he decided to run for office. Joe is a fly fisherman, hunter and TU member of our chapter. He is chairman of the committee and a supporter of TWRA. However, Borchert is the Vice-Chairman of the Committee and a supporter of this bill. Paula sent Joe an e-mail and I can't wait to hear what he has to say.


03-11-2008, 07:04 PM

If you get a chance, ask your representative to ask the sponsor of this bill to show him some proof of this sudden demand for "oversight". Chances are, she won't be able to provide any. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if this Nashville representative wasn't really the impetus behind this bill. Follow the money - I wouldn't be shocked if it was written by an attorney for another state agency, one that can see the potential windfall of license money.

A long, LONG time ago, I worked for the state of Louisiana. Our agency had an attorney who drafted legislation for us. The one instance in which I was familiar, a representative was found from another area of the state to sponsor one of our bills. When he argued for the merits of the bill in committee, he had no idea what he was talking about, and neither did any of the opponents of the bill. How could they - they didn't write it!

Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 07:08 PM
If the bill was drafted by an attorney, that attorney needs to be fired. Evidently, there are some problems with the drafting that need to be addressed.


Byron Begley
03-11-2008, 07:17 PM

Recently our legislature voted on a "Private Act" dealing with bear hunting in the Cherokee National Forest. A representative from West Tennessee voted in favor of the act. After the vote she was interviewed by the press. She said she didn't even know you could hunt bears in Tennessee. She didn't know what she voted for. That's one reason we need an agency and not leave it up to the legislature to enact hunting and fishing regulations. We need experts, not politicians making those decisions. Again, this will take us back into the early 20th century. Not good! I think you and the girls need to move to Tennessee. We could use you up here.


03-11-2008, 07:31 PM
Byron...believe me, at times I wish I could. I will say this, though - it does look like Louisiana has a chance to clean up its act...let's hope so - it's the last chance, I think.

Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 10:31 PM
Rep Bill Dunn gets high marks for responding to an email from a member of this board!

Good job, Rep Dunn!


Gerry Romer
03-11-2008, 11:12 PM
Don't know if anyone else saw this, but....

Near the end of the text of this "bill", there's a little gem hidden that doesn't appear to have anything to do with hunting or fishing. It may, however, have something to do with the wildlife of the youth of the great state of Tennessee.Anybody got any ideas on this one??

"SECTION 7. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon the effective
date of this act all duties, responsibilities, and functions of the state board of education are
hereby transferred to the department of education."


Paula Begley
03-11-2008, 11:19 PM

That was explained away by the bill sponsor as a mistake in the wording that would be "cleared up later." :rolleyes:


03-12-2008, 07:16 AM
I sent an email yesterday to Rep. Jones and the co-sponsors of the HB. I received an email back from Rep. Eddie Yokley that he had his name removed as one of the sponsors. Let's hope more realize the mistakes with this piece of legislation.

Paula Begley
03-12-2008, 01:29 PM
It appears that several original co-sponsors have dropped this bill like a hot potato. :biggrin:

The current status shows the following still on board: *Jones S, *West, *Pruitt, *Brooks H, *Sontany, *Coleman.


03-12-2008, 08:58 PM
I also know a few folks in the state legislature and will be making a phone call or e-mail. I am amazed at this bill, and disappointed in the sponsors. It appears there are only a few left most from the Nashville area, one from Knoxville area (District 19- H. Brooks), and Middle Tennessee (Rutherford County).

03-13-2008, 10:36 AM
Got a response from Harry Tindell, 13 th district (Knoxville), he says he will vote no if given the opportunity.

03-13-2008, 02:43 PM
For those of you who would like to call your representative the toll free number is 800 449 8366. If you do not know their extension you will have to go thru the menu to get their extension.


03-13-2008, 09:37 PM
Doug Overbey from District 20 (Blount County) has also confirmed his stance against this.