SEAFWA directors honored and celebrated the commitment, dedication and leadership, of Ed Carter as he retired from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) after 49 years of professional experience serving the public in the field of fish and wildlife conservation.
Ed held positions in the Divisions of Law Enforcement, Information and Education, TWRA Region 2 Assistant Manager, and Chief of the TWRA Boating Division until March of 2009 when the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission appointed him as Executive Director. Ed, a native of Hawkins County in East Tennessee, is a graduate of The University of Tennessee, a land-grant university in Knoxville, Tennessee that was founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became the 16th state, where he earned a BS in Forestry and a major in wildlife management. In his early years, Ed was involved in transporting and setting up live wildlife exhibits in state and county fairs across the state; and he led the development of the Buffalo Outdoor Education Facility, a state of the art center for many types of outdoor activities; and he was responsible for adding 52,000 acres in wildlife management areas, public hunting areas and fishing areas to the total of over 500,000 such acres in Tennessee; and he was responsible for stocking the first black bear in west Tennessee.
Ed was instrumental in developing innovative funding such as the elk tag raffle, the marine fuel tax funding increase, and amending the wetlands acquisition bill to include maintenance on TWRA owned lands; all of these initiatives allowed the TWRA to keep from raising license fees; and he implemented a cutting edge license system that improved customer service to the state's sportsmen and women by making all hunting and fishing licenses available anytime, anywhere.
Ed served as the President of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA); President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA); Chair of the SEAFWA Awards Committee, member of the Joint Task Force for State/Federal Aid; Chair of the AFWA Trust Fund Committee; President of the Southern States Boating Law Administrators; President of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; Chair of the National Safe Boating Council; and,
SEAFWA expresses gratitude for his immeasurable contributions in many national conservation initiatives including implementation of the recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) program in TWRA; Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA) and the Pittman-Robertson (PR) Modernization Act; and his greatest accomplishments at the national level include his work with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and his contribution to the reauthorization of the Wallop-Breaux Bill.
Ed has also received a number of national and state awards and honors; including induction into the National Boating Safety Hall of Fame by the National Safe Boating Council; induction into the TWRA Hunter Education Hall of Fame; receiving the Conservation Partner Award by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; receiving the Environmental Hero Award from former Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter; and receiving a joint resolution from the Tennessee State Legislature for meritorious service to the State of Tennessee.