Greg Atchley receives Reg. III Wildlife Manager Award

WMA manager Greg Atchley (left) stands on one of the new ramps at the North Chickamauga Creek canoe launch alongside technician Fred Majors. (Photo Contributed)

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region 3 has awarded Greg Atchley from Hamilton County the Reg. III 'Wildlife Manager of the Year.' Atchley has been with TWRA for more than 30 years including 16 years as a Wildlife Officer in Hamilton County, 14 years as a Wildlife Manager on North Chickamauga Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and most recently as a Wildlife Manager on Yuchi Refuge.

As a Wildlife Officer he was recognized as the Region 3 Wildlife Officer of the year multiple times and has also been a recipient of the Shikar-Safari State Officer of the Year Award. In 2016 Atchley partnered with the City of Chattanooga to design and install a canoe launch along the North Chickamauga Creek. The project included clearing the sight, building three descending ramps to get to the water’s edge and the installation of signs. The resulting access ramp has seen extensive use. A local creek advocacy group has made this site one of their focal points for cleanup efforts and the City of Chattanooga has delivered several loads of mulch and gravel to maintain and enhance the site.

In early 2017, Atchley received a donation from a local shooting/hunting sports club. This grant money was matched with some federal funding allowing Atchley to design and develop a proposal for a small waterfowl impoundment on the Sale Creek Unit of Chickamauga WMA. Utilizing contract labor and equipment, this project included site clearing, grading, levee construction, installation of flashboard riser and accompanying pipe sections, clearing and leveling of pump platform adjacent to the creek and soil stabilization. Atchley completed the project within a couple of months of receiving funding. This achievement provides an additional 15 acres of impounded acreage for utilization.

Atchley was promoted to Wildlife Manager 2 in April of 2017 and has since assumed management of both Yuchi Refuge and North Chickamauga Creek WMA. In his first year, he cleared and planted an additional 50 acres on the refuge that will be available as waterfowl habitat this winter.

Reg. III Wildlife Program Manager Kirk Miles said, “In a nutshell, Greg is a consummate wildlife professional. His tireless work ethic, professionalism and overall enthusiasm for his job make him an invaluable asset to the TWRA. Greg deserves this recognition.”

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