Ed Carter

Ed Carter

Brentwood resident Ed Carter was recently recognized for his years of service to the cause of conservation as he was named the recipient of one of the top state-wide awards in a virtual ceremony held by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

Carter, who retired in May from his position as executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, was one of 16 recipients from across the state who earned awards in the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s 55th annual Conservation Achievement Awards.

The Federation, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources, did not host an in-person award ceremony in light of the coronavirus pandemic’s threat to the health and safety of recipients.

“We are honored to recognize this outstanding pool of recipients this year,” Kendall McCarter, chief development officer for the Federation, said in a news release. “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.” 

Carter was recognized with the Z. Cartter Patten Award for many years of service to the cause of conservation in Tennessee. Throughout his career with the TWRA, the organization says Carter was a positive force in managing and conserving Tennessee’s fish, wildlife and public use of natural resources. 

He became TWRA’s first chief of the boating division when it was formed in 1990 and built it into an nationally award-winning and recognized program. When he became executive director of the agency in 2009, he guided several critical reorganization efforts, including merging the boating and law enforcement divisions, reorganizing the agency’s regional management system, and realigning the agency’s information and education division into a newly established outreach and communication division. 

Beyond his work at TWRA, Carter was known for his national leadership in the boating program community and the significant role he played within the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Carter’s career has been marked by outstanding accomplishments and he has achieved many honors for his effective and valuable service to conserve Tennessee’s wild places. 

The Brentwood-based Nature Conservancy of Tennessee was the recipient of the Wildlife Conservationist of the Year award. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

In Tennessee, the TWF says TNC is doing just that. Last year, the organization acquired 100,000 acres — spanning Kentucky and Tennessee — in the Central Appalachian Mountains. A major migratory corridor, the property is a biodiversity hotspot for wildlife and home to important watersheds.

On the property, TNC will maintain and improve forest health, protect critical wildlife habitat, improve water quality, expand outdoor recreation, and support local economies. In addition, TNC will manage the forests sustainably with the ultimate goal of mitigating climate change. 

Click here for more information on the Conservation Achievement Awards and a list of all the recipients.