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Response to Public Lands Subcommittee Recommendations

October 23, 2001

TVA response to Regional Resource Stewardship Council policy recommendations on TVA’s management of public lands, dated May 18, 2001

Recommendation
TVA public lands are a public good. Therefore they should be utilized and managed for long-term benefits as determined by an informed and fully representative public involved in planning and decisionmaking.
TVA is the appropriate entity to continue management of the public lands under their stewardship.

TVA accepts this recommendation.

Recommendation
Water quality should be a number one consideration.

TVA accepts this recommendation and will continue to manage TVA shoreline and lands to improve, protect, and enhance water quality.

Recommendation
TVA should continue with land use plans scheduled and update others periodically, as well as actively manage and implement plans with appropriate management techniques.

TVA accepts this recommendation.

Recommendation
To contribute to the sustainability of the region, TVA should balance multiple benefits, including conservation, economic development, and recreation. A balanced set of recreational experiences should be provided on TVA-managed lands.

TVA accepts this recommendation and will continue to strive for this balance in our land planning processes.

Recommendation
TVA-managed property currently evaluated as appropriate for industrial development should be included in the Site Selector system and made available for potential use.

TVA accepts this recommendation and will have appropriate properties included in the Site Selector system. TVA evaluates appropriate property use through the reservoir land use planning process. Plans developed since 1995 best reflect the current public opinion and site conditions. TVA will include appropriate property from these plans first, and then others as TVA updates reservoir land use plans.

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Recommendation
Future industrial, commercial, and residential development should enhance natural resource conservation by incorporating innovative site planning and design techniques.

TVA accepts this recommendation for residential access where we will continue to use provisions of the Shoreline Management Policy to incorporate such techniques. For industrial and commercial land uses, we will continue to encourage use of best management practices, buffer zones, and restoration of shoreline areas.

Recommendation
Funding for public land management should not be unduly borne by ratepayers. Additional funding sources, new or enhanced partnerships, and creative approaches are critical to the long-term effective management of TVA’s public land resources and the overall well being of the region and the nation. Local, state and other agencies of the federal government, in addition to private associations and entities, should actively assist TVA in finding new funding, establishing partnerships, and developing creative funding approaches.

TVA accepts this recommendation. We will continue to identify opportunities to work with other government agencies and private concerns in the development of innovative partnerships to share costs of TVA’s public land management activities.

Recommendation
Legislators of the region should periodically explore the feasibility of resuming federal appropriations at some point in the future for TVA’s unique and historic stewardship and public responsibilities.

This recommendation is not directed to TVA. Present law specifically identifies the funds other than direct appropriations that TVA is required to use for these activities.

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Recommendation
Economic sustainability for both new and existing activities/facilities should be examined.

TVA accepts this recommendation and will continue to evaluate its existing and proposed public land programs and facilities to ensure they can be maintained to meet the future needs of the public.

Recommendation
TVA should examine fee structures and full reimbursement as methods to recoup all or an appropriate part of the costs of public lands management.

TVA accepts this recommendation to examine reimbursement policies. Several years ago TVA reviewed and revised its cost recovery practices for Section 26a permitting, land use application processing, and environmental reviews. TVA also receives revenue from land leases, campground operation, and license agreements. We will periodically review our costs for and revenue from activities for which we presently charge fees and make revisions as needed to ensure we are appropriately recovering our costs.

Recommendation
TVA’s debt and the need to keep rates competitive with deregulation on the horizon should be kept in mind. TVA should ensure that adequate levels of maintenance services for existing recreation facilities are provided.

TVA accepts this recommendation. TVA continues to look for improved efficiencies in all of its activities, and our public land processes are no exception. We will continue to ensure our public use facilities are meeting public needs and will identify cost-sharing recreational partnerships where such arrangements are in the public’s best interest.

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Recommendation
Decisions made in the future relative to TVA public lands should be guided by scientific research, substantive public input, and the needs of an integrated river management system.

TVA accepts this recommendation and will continue to employ scientists of the highest caliber for ongoing and project-specific research needs.

Recommendation
TVA should build in the capacity to change, be more accepting of change and adaptable to the changing environment and needs of communities, particularly as it relates to customer service. TVA has made some improvements in its customer responsiveness. However, continued improvement is warranted in customer interactions relating to implementing shoreline management policies and working with the public on lake level fluctuations.

TVA accepts this recommendation. While, as you acknowledge, we have made some improvements in customer responsiveness, we agree that there is still much room for improvement. We will modify our processes and provide training to employees in the area of customer interactions.

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Summary
TVA accepts the great majority of the Council’s Policy Recommendations on TVA’s Management of Public Lands.

TVA will continue to manage the public lands under its stewardship for long-term benefits with water quality as a number one consideration.

TVA will develop and update reservoir land use plans and will manage our public lands for multiple public benefits and provide a balanced set of recreational experiences.

TVA will include lands evaluated as appropriate for industrial development in the site selector system. The Shoreline Management Policy will be utilized to ensure future residential development enhances natural resource conservation. For industrial and commercial land, TVA will encourage use of best management practices, buffer zones, and restoration of shoreline areas.

TVA will develop innovative partnerships with stakeholder groups and government agencies to share costs of public land management activities. TVA will evaluate existing and proposed public land programs and facilities to ensure they can be maintained to meet future public needs. TVA will re-examine its reimbursement policies for activities associated with public land management to ensure that we are appropriately recovering those costs. TVA will ensure that adequate levels of maintenance for existing recreation facilities are provided.

TVA will consider public input, scientific research, and the needs of the integrated river management system in its decision making on public lands issues. TVA will continue to improve its customer responsiveness.

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