Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tennessee Passes Bill to Protect State Hunting Land

A Tennessee bill to ensure sportsmen’s access to state hunting lands has been signed into law.

Tennessee HB 145 requires the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to open commensurate land within 12 months of the closure of any existing state hunting or fishing land. A ‘no net loss’ directive requires the opening of compensatory huntable land in the same area of the state if an area is closed to the sport.

The bill, which also specifies that lands managed by the TWRA be open to access and use for hunting and fishing, subject to existing rights, was signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen on May 7.

House Bill 145 passed the House of Representatives on April 18, 97 to 0, and the Senate on April 23, 30 to 0.

The bills are based on model legislation developed and promoted by the USSA. Several states, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi and West Virginia have recently passed ‘no net loss’ laws that protect state hunting land for future generations.

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