Wildlife Habitat Management in Tennessee
More than 90% of the land in Tennessee is privately owned. To successfully manage our state’s wildlife resources, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) must work cooperatively with private landowners across the state. Many landowners desire property that is welcoming to wildlife species and some may need technical assistance to accomplish their goals and vision.
TWRA has Wildlife Habitat Biologists throughout the state whose primary job is to assist landowners with technical assistance and managing their property for wildlife. See below for a link to these biologists and also to articles on specific management techniques. We’d love to speak to you, visit your property and assist you in reaching your wildlife goals!
Contact a Wildlife Habitat Biologist
TWRA has partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for over a decade. This partnership has helped to establish tens of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in TN through our Wildlife Habitat Biologist and Partner’s positions. The majority of habitat programs and funding are from Farm Bill programs administered through the USDA system. To be most effective, TWRA Wildlife Habitat Biologists and most Quail Forever Farm Bill Biologists are housed within USDA NRCS offices. The map below indicates office locations and contact information for the listed partner biologists, and county colors reflect the four NRCS administrative areas that the TWRA Wildlife Habitat Biologists are assigned to.
|Christopher Hunter, TWRA
1179 S. Dupree Ave
Brownsville, TN 38012
731-772-2965 Ext. 3017
|Clint Borum, TWRA
811 Hatcher Lane
Columbia, TN 38401
|Michael McCord, TWRA
900 S. Walnut Ave.
Cookeville, TN 38501
931-528-6472 Ext. 110
|Stephen Thomas, TWRA
1105 East Jackson Blvd, Hwy 11E, Suite 3
Jonesborough, TN 37659
|Alex Tamboli, Quail Forever
Farm Bill Biologist
630 High Street
Huntingdon, TN 38344
731-418-6107 Ext. 115
|Collin Stanley, Quail Forever
Farm Bill Biologist
791-B Tennessee Street
Bolivar, TN 38008
731-658-3631 Ext. 3
|Josh Turner, Quail Forever
Senior Farm Bill Biologist
Coffee County, NRCS Field Office
1008 East End Road
Manchester, TN 37355
|RCPP Grasslands Initiative|
|Jeremy French, Quail Forever Southeastern Grassland Initiative
311 College St.
Clarksville, TN 37040
|Brittney Viers-Scott, Quail Forever
Grasslands RCPP Coordinating Biologist
Southeastern Grasslands Initiative
311 College Street
Clarksville TN 37040
|RCPP Priority Counties:
|National Wild Turkey Federation/NRCS Foresters|
4730 New Harvest Ln.
Knoxville, TN. 37918
USDA Service Center- Columbia
811 Hatcher Ln.
Columbia, TN 38401
firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 3430
USDA NRCS Staff: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/tn/contact/local/
TN Quail Forever Staff: https://www.quailforever.org/Habitat/findBiologist.aspx
TN Division of Forestry Staff: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/staff-directory.html
TN Division of Forestry Landowner Assistance: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/landowners.html
The northern bobwhite quail is Tennessee’s state game bird and historically was a prominent game bird across the southeastern United States. Unfortunately, due to the large scale loss of farmland, changes in agriculture, and increases in forest land, quail habitat has been reduced or eliminated. As a result, the northern bobwhite population in the U.S. has been on a decline.
The TWRA has designated five of its wildlife management areas (WMAs) to serve as anchors within a quail focal area (see map below.) They are Wolf River WMA (Fayette County), Bark Camp Barrens WMA (Coffee County), Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness WMA (White County), Kyker Bottoms WMA and Lick Creek Bottoms WMA (Greene County).
The anchor areas act as reserves where wildlife management efforts are focused on maximizing ideal habitat and conditions to foster healthy quail populations. As the quail population increases, it should expand out into the surrounding focus area if suitable habitat exists. The focal area is comprised of private and other public lands that have the potential to provide suitable quail habitat. The Wolf River WMA is a focal area for the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, a multistate initiative of 22 states that are working to increase quail numbers. https://bringbackbobwhites.org/conservation/nbci-focal-area/
Landowners interested in improving their lands for quail should contact their local TWRA or Quail Forever Habitat Biologist. These biologists will meet with landowners or property managers and develop a habitat management plan at no charge and provide other advice, such as programs that can provide financial assistance for creating and managing wildlife habitat.