The Land Planning Process
TVA develops land plans to facilitate the management of 293,000 acres of public land around its reservoirs. Plans are developed with participation by public agencies and officials, private organizations, and individuals. By providing a clear vision of how TVA will manage public land and by identifying land for specific uses, a reservoir land plan minimizes conflicting land uses and guides decisions on requests for use of public land.
Land plans include an environmental review conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The level of environmental review of the Watts Bar Land Plan will be an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). TVA is updating the existing Watts Bar Land Management Plan that was completed in 1988 to reflect new recommendations for managing the property for optimum public benefit. The scope of the Watts Bar Land Plan will include all of the TVA-managed public land — approximately 16,200 acres — on Watts Bar Reservoir.
The reservoir land planning process is a systematic method of identifying and evaluating the most suitable use of public lands under TVA stewardship. It uses resource data, computer analysis, and public input to allocate land uses to the following land management zones:
- Project operations
- Sensitive resource management
- Natural resource conservation
- Shoreline access
How does reservoir land planning relate to access rights for private water use facilities?
TVA defines access rights as property rights across TVA-owned shoreland held by some adjacent landowners. These rights provide access to the water and allow the landowner to request TVA permits for proposed docks and other water-use facilities. The Reservoir Land Planning Process will not change the existing access rights of adjacent property owners for the use of TVA land.
How is the public involved in the planning process?
Early in the planning process, before any decisions are made, TVA invites comments from the public through the public scoping process. The purpose of public scoping is to gather information from diverse agencies, organizations, and individuals who are users of public land and water. This information helps the planning team identify key issues and concerns to ensure that reservoir land plans address public issues while meeting TVA’s objectives.
How does TVA use public input?
The information generated during public scoping will be compiled and analyzed. The planning team will use this input to help form reservoir land plan objectives and to guide allocations in developing a draft land plan. After reviewing public input on the draft plan and addressing public comments, TVA staff will submit a final plan to the TVA Board for approval.