State Sen. Ken Yager

Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources, recognizes recipients from all corners of the state for its 55th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards. To ensure the health and safety of this year’s winners, the federation did not host an in-person award ceremony.

“We are honored to recognize this outstanding pool of recipients this year,” said Kendall McCarter, chief development officer for the Federation. “Their dedication to conserve our wild places and recruit the next generations of conservationists should be an inspiration to Tennesseans who love and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Awards spanned from Conservation by Business and Conservation Educator, to Forest Conservationist and the Z. Cartter Patten Award for many years of service to the cause of conservation in Tennessee.

The honorees of the 55th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards included State Sen. Ken Yager, who received the Conservation Legislator of the Year Award.

Yager was named the Conservation Legislator of the Year for his leadership to combat Asian carp in Tennessee’s waters as well as his long-term commitment to the Tennessee State Scenic Rivers Program. Yager worked with the federation to raise the profile of the Asian carp issue within the Tennessee Senate and showed a commitment to ensure that the Tennessee state government maintains its focus on this issue.

This leadership included seeking state funding to combat Asian carp, holding hearings on the threat of Asian carp and authoring an Asian carp resolution — which called on members of the Tennessee congressional delegation to support providing the federal resources needed to effectively manage and remove Asian carp.

Yager has also been a stalwart supporter of the State Scenic Rivers Program. He carried legislation in 2019 and 2020 that added Soak Creek, Duskin Creek, Little Piney Creek and the Piney River to the program. Yager’s favorite trail to hike is the Angel Falls Overlook within the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation leads the conservation, sound management and wise use of Tennessee’s great outdoors. Since 1946, the federation has spearheaded the development of the state’s wildlife policy, advanced landmark legislation on air and water quality and other conservation initiatives, helped restore numerous species and introduced thousands of kids to the great outdoors. To learn more, visit