TVA Eyes Campground Development
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has completed a draft version of its Natural Resource Plan and held a meeting Monday (April 11) at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., to gather public input, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
TVA’a Natural Resource Plan deals with the reservoir lands and biological and cultural, water and recreational resources under TVA’s stewardship and is meant to help TVA manage them over the next 20 years. TVA has more than 293,000 acres of land and 11,000 miles of shoreline. It manages eight campgrounds on dam/power plant properties and four on other reservation properties. TVA properties attract more than 6 million visits a year for hiking, camping and other recreational purposes.
TVA’s goal with reservoir lands planning is to integrate its land and water stewardship objectives, provide for the public benefit and balance conflicting resource uses. With biological and cultural resources management, the goal is to put practices in place to balance protection of resources such as wildlife and historical and archaeological sites while providing recreational opportunities.
Highlights of the plan include:
- Developing a campground initiative that would promote energy and water efficiency.
- Creating a Tennessee River watershed improvement plan to identify threats to water quality.
- Creating a Comprehensive Valleywide Land Plan that would balance shoreline development, recreational use and other needs with maintaining regional quality of life and economic growth.
- To help implement the plan, TVA proposes to form partnerships with various agencies, universities and businesses to help monitor and protect its lands. It might set up an independent foundation and trust fund to solicit private donations for conservation-related projects and programs, similar to those established by the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service, or it might form ties with an existing foundation or trust fund. TVA is also considering setting up a voluntary program.
“Given the funding and personnel challenges that all agencies are facing in the current environment, an open and easily available volunteer program would help to support TVA-managed lands. It can also create a sense of public ownership and serve as a form of public education and outreach,” the plan reads.