Development of a Statewide Watchable Wildlife Program and Wildlife Viewing Guide in Tennessee

A coalition of natural resource agencies and private interests in Tennessee is currently enhancing a statewide network of conservation lands and developing a supportive public constituency by creating and promoting watchable wildlife opportunities. This program addresses the national and statewide trends for growing public interest in viewing and photographing wildlife and native plants. In Tennessee, program development has been underway for 12 years. Components are similar to those of the National Watchable Wildlife Program (recreation, education, and conservation) although the element of emphasis may vary from site to site. Goals for the future include improved linkage of both tourist and resident expenditures with conservation programs and local economies; ongoing linkage with Project CENTS (an award-winning statewide conservation education program); and support for the existing statewide Biodiversity Program based on results of an ongoing statewide GAP analysis.

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