SEAFWA is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. More than 4,000 wildlife officers are in the area that SEAFWA encompasses.
Earhart, assigned to Bradley County, is a key member of TWRA’s Area 33 team in southeastern Tennessee. He is regarded as Area 33’s “go-to person” for public outreach.
Earhart organized and handled all the arrangements for the successful First Annual Bradley County Youth Dove Hunt. Philip set up and worked several events, utilizing the Wildlife on Wheels Exhibit. He is very active in the Bradley County NWTF chapter, which focuses on events for the disabled, women in the outdoors, scholarships, and JAKE days.
In addition to teaching/assisting in five hunter education classes (325 students) and two boater education classes, he is called upon to help with programs in the schools in Bradley County. Earhart has been instrumental in coordinating community service workers for cleaning up wildlife management areas, access areas and the new Area 33 storage/office facility.
Over the past year, Earhart was involved in more than 400 law enforcement encounters. His cases have been wide-ranging, from boating and fishing violations on Area 33’s lakes and rivers, to waterfowl violations to big game cases in the Cherokee National Forest. He was instrumental in a case that resulted in a lifetime revocation of privileges from possibly one of the most habitual poachers in the state.
The SEAFWA conducts its annual conference each fall to provide a forum for presentation of information and exchange of ideas regarding the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources throughout the nation but with emphasis on the southeast.
Philip Earhart, (second from right) of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, has been named as the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) 2009 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Earhart was presented the award at a banquet during the 63rd Annual SEAFWA Conference held in Atlanta. Pictured, from left, are TWRA Area 33 Law Enforcement Supervisor C.J. Jaynes, TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter, Officer Earhart, and TWRA Law Enforcement Division Chief Sonny Richardson. Earhart is assigned to Bradley County.