State legislators have been furnished copies of a video of a recent meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission in time for a looming vote on whether to "sunset" the board which oversees the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
On the tape, several commission members are heard saying negative things about the Legislature and suggesting there was no reason to listen to their views on wildlife management because the commission is an independent board. Several legislators have been upset about the derogatory comments about their "incompetence" and made the tape available to any legislator that wants a copy.
All state agencies come up periodically for review on whether they need to continue or whether they should cease to exist. The vote on the commission (not the agency itself) could come as early as this week or next. There is some sentiment to extend the life of the commission for one year, instead of the usual five, to get the board's attention. The board was established to take politics out of wildlife management and put the state agency under independent control.
There is another bill that would allow the speakers of each house to appoint additional members and thus give the Legislature more influence on wildlife issues.