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Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Tennessee

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

  • Return to the portal page for Tennessee.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Tennessee.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Tennessee.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Tennessee.

  • Cougar science and research in Tennessee.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Tennessee Cougar Laws and Regulations

Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of Tennessee is governed by the Tennessee Code – the state’s collection of all current laws passed by its legislature. Since our summary below may not be completely up to date, you should be sure to review the most current law for the State of Tennessee.

Tennessee does not maintain a state-managed website for the publication of its laws. Instead, the state contracts with a private company, LexisNexis, to publish its legal code. The Tennessee Code can be found here
These statutes are searchable. Be sure to use the name “cougar” to accomplish your searches.

The Rules of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency can be found in the Rules and Regulations of the State of Tennessee - the state’s collection of all its agency’s policies. The regulations in this section are written by the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The Legislature

The Tennessee General Assembly is the state’s bicameral law-making body. The lower chamber – the House of Representatives - is made up of 99 members who serve 2-year terms. The upper chamber – the Senate - consists of 33 members who serve 4-year terms. The State of Tennessee maintains this webpage to help you contact your state legislators.

The Tennessee Constitution requires the legislature to meet on the second Tuesday in January after the election of members of the House of Representatives for an organizational session limited to 15 consecutive calendar days. The regular session begins on the next Tuesday following the adjournment of the organizational session unless the General Assembly passes a joint resolution requiring it to begin earlier. Either the governor or two-thirds of the members of each chamber may call special legislative sessions. The Tennessee Constitution does not appear to place limits on the duration of either regular or special sessions.

Click here to visit the scorecard's website...

Environmental Scorecard

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters' scorecard considers the State Legislature's environmental records since 1971. It quantifies the environmental votes of each individual legislator — an important first step in considering accountability — and provides critical qualitative assessments as well. The scorecard will help you to know your legislator before you write a letter in support of cougars.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Commonly abbreviated as: TWRA

Ed Carter, Executive Director

TWRA Central Office
440 Hogan Rd.
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6552

Please write to the director and express your concern for lions in TN.

Thank the agency when they take steps to protect our state's cougars. When they fall short of expectations, politely ask for policy reform and more officer training.



Copyright 1988-2019. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.