Public Land Protection Policy

Because of the importance of TVA public land to the region and to its mission of service, it is TVA’s duty to prevent abuse and destruction of the public land it manages and take necessary steps to remedy unauthorized uses and encroachments.  The proposed Public Land Protection Policy lays the foundation for TVA to take necessary steps to strengthen its education and outreach efforts regarding protection of public land. Your feedback is welcome.

Policy Governing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Protection of Public Land and Resources

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been charged by Congress with improving navigation, providing flood control of the Tennessee River, providing for the proper use of marginal lands and other purposes.  Congress also tasked TVA with land and shoreline management responsibilities, including acquisition of reservoir areas and protection of watersheds.

TVA has custody and control of approximately 293,000 acres of federally-owned reservoir property and approximately 470,000 acres of inundated property on behalf of the United States of America as well as administers various land rights over privately-owned land for the purposes of managing the TVA reservoir system (collectively referred to as TVA public land).  In TVA’s Land Policy, the TVA Board of Directors (TVA Board) recognized the importance of this land and land rights and TVA’s duty to manage them wisely for present and future generations. Through TVA Board support or actions—such as Section 26a Regulations, Shoreline Management Policy, various Reservoir Land Management Plans and the Natural Resource Plan—TVA manages these lands and land rights in a way that is sustainable while balancing competing demands.

TVA public land and reservoir system provide protection for the abundant wildlife of the region; promote world-class biodiversity of plants and animals; support clean water and a thriving fishery; offer a look into the lives of our ancestors through the rich historical and cultural resources of past generations; are a sanctuary for those seeking open space, quiet solace in nature or recreational opportunities; play an integral part in the unified development of the Tennessee River and flood control objectives; and attract economic development and investment in our region, improving the lives and well-being of its residents. Various academic studies have shown tangible value in TVA’s management of land and water resources and the significant benefit to the people of the region. Even in a 1936 report to Congress, the original TVA Board recognized the importance of reservoir property when it referred to these lands as “a protective belt” and described the permanent control of which as “a matter of critical importance in the interest of reservoir protection.”

TVA public land and reservoir system also offer opportunities for partnerships and collaborative management with local communities and state and federal agencies. Relationships with these communities and agencies are critical for the success of TVA’s land management and stewardship objectives.

The TVA Board recognizes challenges associated with activities that abuse or privatize TVA public land or destroy these important resources. These activities degrade the quality of the land, land rights and the user experience. While some individual impacts may seem inconsequential, the cumulative effects threaten TVA’s ability to fulfill its management responsibilities.


Because of the importance of TVA public land to the region and to TVA’s mission of service, it continues to be TVA’s policy to manage its lands to protect the integrated operation of the TVA reservoir and power systems, to provide for appropriate public use and enjoyment of the reservoir system, and to provide for continuing economic growth in the Valley. Further, it is TVA’s duty to prevent abuse and destruction of TVA public land and take necessary steps to remedy unauthorized uses and encroachments. To that end, the TVA Board supports efforts to secure resources needed to protect TVA public land, develop land management regulations, and seek authority to issue citations for violations.

How to Get Involved

TVA welcomes your input and feedback on the proposed Public Land Protection Policy and will accept comments until June 8, 2018. You may provide comments here, via email or mail your comments to the address below. Please consider sharing your thoughts on public land protection issues. By way of example, (1) how TVA should address abuse and destruction of TVA public land from activities like trash dumping, off road motorized vehicles/ATV abuse and unauthorized vegetation removal; (2) what level of enforcement you expect from TVA regarding public land protection; and (3) ideas for educational opportunities and activities TVA can do to prevent abuse and destruction of TVA public land.

Milli K. Warren
Senior Specialist, Stewardship Compliance
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11A-K
Knoxville, TN 37902

We Answer Your Questions

Want to know more about the who, where, when, what, why  and/or how of the Public Land Protection Policy? Then you'll want to check out our PLP Policy Frequently Asked Questions page. If you don't see the answers you’re looking for, you can email our contact for more information. Visit our helpful FAQ now.